The health and well-being of millions of Americans across the country is affected by the abuse of alcohol, tobacco and drugs. The 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that 8.7 million people ages 12-20 reported drinking alcohol in the past month. That’s equivalent to about 23 percent of young people.
National Substance Abuse Prevention Month is a month-long observance focused on preventing substance abuse and promoting healthier and safer communities.
President Barack Obama’s 2014 National Substance Abuse Prevention Month proclamation emphasized that preventing substance use before it begins is the most effective way to eliminate the damage caused by drugs and the abuse of alcohol. Youth, parents educators, and government officials in states and communities across the country all have a role to play in deterring young people from underage drinking and drug abuse.
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy will host a webinar for parents and caregivers to kick-off National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. “A Webinar for Parents on Evidence-Based Strategies to Prevent Substance Use,” is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 6, from 2-3:30 p.m. ET. Registration for the webinar is available here.
Harmful and underage drinking remain significant problems on U.S. campuses, despite collective efforts to address them. Higher education officials understand that, all too often, alcohol-related problems can seem intractable, leading to questions and frustration over how best to reduce student drinking and its negative consequences.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has released the CollegeAIM (Alcohol Intervention Matrix) guide and website to help college personnel choose wisely among the many potential interventions to address harmful and underage college student drinking.
The centerpiece of the guide is a user-friendly, matrix-based tool developed with input from leading college alcohol researchers, along with college student life and alcohol and other drug program staff. With CollegeAIM, school officials and staff can easily use research-based information to inform decisions about alcohol intervention strategies.
The Red Ribbon Campaign, coordinated by the National Family Partnership, is a nationwide effort to raise awareness of the destruction caused by drugs in America. The campaign’s mission is to create a drug-free America by helping citizens across the country come together to keep children, families and communities safe, healthy and drug-free.
Visit the Red Ribbon website to order materials or download social media posts that you can use to promote Red Ribbon Week from October 23-31. You can also pledge to set guidelines to help children grow up safe, healthy, and drug-free by talking with children about the dangers of drug use, setting clear rules for children about not using drugs, setting good examples, monitoring children’s behavior and enforcing appropriate consequences, and encouraging your family and friends to follow these same guidelines.