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National Prevention Week

SAMHSA’s National Prevention Week 2015 takes place May 17–23.  Check out the National Prevention Week 2015 promotional video.  Each day of the week is associated with a different prevention theme. These are:

  • Monday, May 18: Prevention of Tobacco Use
  • Tuesday, May 19: Prevention of Underage Drinking and Alcohol Abuse
  • Wednesday, May 20: Prevention of Opioid and Prescription Drug Abuse
  • Thursday, May 21: Prevention of Illicit Drug Use and Youth Marijuana Use
  • Friday, May 22: Prevention of Suicide
  • Saturday, May 23: Promotion of Mental Health and Wellness

Host an event in your community.  You can raise awareness about NPW 2015 with the help of the Participant Toolkit, which includes suggested events, resources, statistics, and promotional materials for your use.  Visit the National Prevention Week website to learn different ways to get involved with NPW such as the “I Choose” Project.

Memorial Day Weekend Is Particularly Dangerous for Underage Drinkers

During Memorial Day weekend, underage drinking-related emergency department visits are 11 percent higher than they are during an average day of the year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more drivers take to the roads as the weather warms up. The potential for alcohol-related vehicle crashes increases as well. NHTSA also estimates that, in 2013, an average of about two drivers under age 21 died each day from an alcohol-related vehicle crash.

This Memorial Day weekend, help raise awareness of the dangers of underage drinking and driving. More information is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NHTSA.

May is Women’s Health Month

Women are at greater risk of developing alcohol-related problems than men and need to be especially careful not to drink heavily. This Women’s Health Month, help share information about the risks of excessive alcohol use for women, such as an increased risk of:

  • Liver disease;
  • Memory loss;
  • Damage to the heart muscle;
  • Several types of cancer; and
  • Sexual assault.

This month also is an opportunity to talk with girls and young women under age 21 about alcohol use and its consequences. According to CDC, 1 in 5 high school girls binge drink. Among those girls using alcohol during the past month, 45 percent of 9th graders, 50 percent of 10th graders, 58 percent of 11th graders, and 62 percent of 12th graders reported binge drinking.

View CDC Vital Signs Binge Drinking: A Serious, Under-recognized Problem Among Women and Girls for more information about the problem and solutions as well as an infographic, podcast, public service announcement, and health e-cards.  

May Is Mental Health Month

Mental health problems and substance abuse problems often co-occur. Studies funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism indicate that some mental health problems, such as depression or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, appear to increase the risk of alcohol and other drug use among youth. Youth also may turn to substance abuse as a way to cope with the trauma of physical and sexual abuse.

During May, promote mental health as a way to reduce underage drinking and co-occurring behavioral health problems. One approach is to conduct awareness activities in your community during or in conjunction with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Prevention Week.

In addition, please join SAMHSA for the next live webisode of KSOC-TV Special Edition: National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2015: Strengthening Communities by Integrating Care, to air on May 7, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. EDT. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, promoting the mental health of children can help reduce their risk of underage drinking and other drug abuse. For more information, read Why Is Early Childhood Important to Substance Abuse Prevention?