Another important week is upon us! May 14-20 being National Prevention Week, a great time for parents and educators to talk about alcohol, tobacco and substance abuse and prevention. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), National Prevention Week is an annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues.
The three primary goals of National Prevention Week according to SAMHSA are to:
- -Involve communities in raising awareness about behavioral health issues and implementing prevention strategies;
- -Foster partnerships and collaboration with federal agencies and national organizations dedicated to behavioral and public health; and
- -Promote and disseminate quality behavioral health resources and publications.
The importance of achieving these goals is magnified with summer fast approaching. A study by SAMHSA notes that most teens first try drugs and alcohol during summer. All parents want their teens to fully enjoy their summer vacation, but we all want them to be safe. Thankfully, a recent article on USA.gov about SAMHSA and National Prevention Week outlined a host of resources for parents and educators to help prevent risky behavior including:
- -Marijuana Myth busters from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens
- -Videos and games for kids teaching them about the dangers of misusing prescription drugs
- -Tips about discussing underage drinking
Prevention is a necessary tool that requires continuous awareness and action. The mission of the Too Good for Drugs programs, SAMHSA and its partner organizations is to provide the tools necessary to to put alcohol, tobacco and substance abuse prevention into action for the benefit of our youth. Specifically, Too Good for Drugs for Middle and High School are designed to mitigate risk and build protective factors so that teens are more likely to make healthy decisions and refuse negative peer pressure and influence. And National Prevention week is the time where those healthy decisions must be promoted to our youth.