National Prevention Week Kicks Off

National Prevention Week Kicks Off
Posted on 05/14/2018

National Prevention Week (NPW) is a SAMHSA-sponsored annual health observance dedicated to increasing the prevention of substance use and promotion of mental health. The observance brings individuals, organizations, coalitions, states, and communities together through local events to raise awareness about the importance of preventing substance use and mental disorders.

NPW takes place May 13–19, 2018. The 2018 theme is “Action Today. Healthier Tomorrow.” This theme reminds us that simple, daily acts of prevention, like helping a friend make positive choices or supporting a family member in need, can lead to healthier lives for each of us today, and stronger, happier communities tomorrow.

Youth deserve to hear positive messages from people they know and who care about them. Being involved in kids’ lives and talking to them about substance use can make a difference. Studies have shown that parents have a significant influence on young people’s decisions about alcohol consumption,1 especially when parents create supportive and nurturing environments in which their children can make their own decisions.2 Every day, parents, caregivers, educators, and community leaders in North Harris County can make a difference by having conversations with youth about substance use and by modeling healthy choices and behaviors.

Six of the seven days during NPW have a suggested health topic that organizations and coalitions can use to guide the focus of community events:

• Promotion of Mental Health & Wellness (Monday, May 14)
• Prevention of Underage Drinking & Alcohol Misuse (Tuesday, May 15)
• Prevention of Prescription & Opioid Drug Misuse (Wednesday, May 16)
• Prevention of Illicit Drug Use & Youth Marijuana Use (Thursday, May 17)
• Prevention of Suicide (Friday, May 18)
• Prevention of Youth Tobacco Use (Saturday, May 19)

To encourage healthy decision-making and rally people to reach their full potential, NHCSAPC is working to promote NPW. We are proud to be one of many organizations around the country encouraging people to raise awareness about the importance of substance use prevention and mental health promotion in their communities and lives as part of National Prevention Week 2018. NHCSAPC is partnering with Change Happens! to visit youth in our community and encourage them to think of their future selves with SAMHSA’s Dear Future Me Challenge. Keep up with us on social media to learn more about prevention this week.

As individuals and as a community, we can help prevent underage drinking by being involved in young people’s lives; identifying resources, support systems, and alternatives for youth in the community; and raising awareness about the importance of prevention. Join us in promoting NPW and substance abuse prevention in North Harris County.

1 Nash, S. G., McQueen, A., & Bray, J. H. (2005). Pathways to adolescent alcohol use: Family environment, peer influence, and parental expectations. Journal of Adolescent Health, 37(1), 19–28.

2 Barnes, G. M., Reifman, A. S., Farrell, M. P., & Dintcheff, B. A. (2000). The effects of parenting on the development of adolescent alcohol misuse: A six-wave latent growth model. Journal of Marriage and Family, 62(1), 175–186.

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