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March 23–27 Is National Youth Violence Prevention Week
During National Youth Violence Prevention Week, consider raising community awareness of youth violence as a factor contributing to substance abuse and mental health issues. More than 700,000 young people were treated in emergency departments in 2010 due to injuries from violence. In addition to premature death, youth violence can cause emotional, academic, and physical scars that affect young people’s healthy development and lead to other problems such as underage drinking, depression, and suicide.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Preventing Youth Violence: Opportunities for Action report encourages youth to be proactive in reducing their risk of being a victim, perpetrator, or witness to youth violence. Youth, for example, should take the following steps:

  • Think carefully about their close friends and what they do together. Friends who do not use drugs and alcohol, and those who try to do well at school, and believe violence should be avoided can help youth stay safer.
  • Avoid alcohol, drugs, and any form of violence, to increase their own safety and health and be positive role models for their peers.

The CDC report also describes youth violence prevention approaches based on the best available evidence and links to federal databases of effective programs, such as the Task Force for Community Preventive Services and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices. To learn more about ways to prevent youth violence, visit CDC’s Preventing Youth Violence web section.

SAMHSA Launches Online Tool for Customized Data Reports
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive now offers an easy-to-use online tool for creating custom tables and graphs from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s behavioral health data. Users can create their reports in two steps:

  1. Select variables.
  2. Click the submit button.

No prior experience is needed with the data to select variables for analysis. The Simple Crosstab/Frequency tool provides possible, variable options as users enter words that interest them. Users also can modify the display from the results screen.

NHTSA Posts Drunk Driving Prevention Materials for Saint Patrick’s Day
March 17 is Saint Patrick’s Day, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is encouraging local organizations to take action against drunk driving. During St. Patrick’s Day from 2009 to 2013, a total of 276 lives were lost to drunk-driving crashes. Some of those who died were youth who used alcohol and then drove or their passengers.

NHTSA has created a suite of materials that emphasize two basic principles for preventing drunk driving:

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over (enforcement), and
Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving (social norming).

New campaign materials are a web video and a series of updated infographics. Posters and banner ads also are available.