Beginning in 2011, October has marked National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. This is a month that brings awareness of the health effects that substance abuse has on both individuals and communities. The month was created to open discussion about what we can do as a country to raise awareness and put a strong effort toward substance abuse prevention.
Why Do We Recognize It?
According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, a little over 60% of Americans have abused some type of drug over the past month (including tobacco and alcohol). From an indirect standpoint, Pew Research Center reports that 46% of American adults are close to someone who is or has been an addict.. It is a very common, very real problem in the United States.
Substance abuse starts with youth and the young adult population, with over 12.5 percent of the adolescent population having used an illegal substance over the past year. Studies show that the earlier in life a person uses some kind of illicit drug, the more likely they are to develop an addiction. National Substance Abuse Prevention month is here to encourage the yearlong initiative to try to prevent substance abuse. The month is recognized in order to open dialogue for useful information, resources, and preventative action.
What You Can Do
The statistics show that your or someone you know or love has probably fallen victim to substance abuse. Addiction can feel like a dark and lonely road, and many might feel helpless when it comes to finding treatment or resolution. However, as much as the statistics of drug abuse may feel daunting, the network of family, friends, and professionals that want to help is greater.
The first step toward recovery is always the scariest, but it is easier to take that leap when there is open and judgement-free support. Change begins with awareness, conversation, and then action. Knowing what resources and literature are out there when it comes to substance abuse treatment is beneficial for those that are directly affected as well as those who have an indirect relationship with abuse. If you would like to talk to a medical professional about substance abuse, JourneyPure Emerald Coast is here to help. Our team is dedicated to a multidisciplinary approach to guide their patients to long-term recovery.