This annual health observance week is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to increase awareness and action for substance use prevention and promotion of positive mental health. We’re highlighting a specific partner, resources, and activities for each daily health theme which are:

  • Monday: Preventing Prescription Drug & Opioid Misuse
  • Tuesday: Preventing Underage Drinking & Alcohol Misuse
  • Wednesday: Preventing Illicit Drug Use & Youth Marijuana Use
  • Thursday: Preventing Youth Tobacco Use (E-Cigarettes & Vaping)
  • Friday: Preventing Suicide

Join us in this virtual campaign by following us on social media and sharing our daily videos, facts, activities, and resources to promote substance use prevention and positive mental health. Let’s do this together!

Monday: Preventing Prescription Drug & Opioid Misuse
Tuesday: Preventing Underage Drinking & Alcohol Misuse
Alcohol is the most widely used substance among youth, often beginning at an early age. In 2019, almost 2.3 million 12-17 year olds used alcohol for the first time, which is equivalent to about 6,200 youth per day. Early initiation of alcohol use is associated with heavy alcohol use, substance use, and alcohol dependence later in life. Alcohol plays a factor in the deaths of about 4,300 people under the age of 21 each year, reducing their lives by 60 years! But here’s the good news: Underage drinking, binge drinking, and heavy alcohol use among our youth have declined…PREVENTION WORKS! We must continue our efforts in prevention and stress to parents the importance of speaking to their child about drinking, like the SAMHSA campaign says, ‘Talk. They Hear You’. Check out the resources below and share today to help prevent underage drinking and alcohol misuse.

Wednesday: Preventing Illicit Drug Use and Youth Marijuana Use
For this health theme, we highlight the Institute of Behavioral and Health’s One Choice Prevention message: No use of any alcohol, nicotine, marijuana or other drugs by youth under the age of 21 for reasons of health. Preventing youth substance use is vital as the developing adolescent brain is uniquely vulnerable to substance use, thus this health goal should be stressed alongside other preventative measures such as wearing a seat belt, eating healthy foods, exercising, and getting enough sleep. For youth, all substance use is related, which means using one substance is associated with the use of other substances. 9 in 10 adults with a substance use disorder began using before the age of 18 indicating substance use disorders are pediatric-onset diseases. Help us spread the One Choice Prevention message by sharing the brief intro video including a PSA created by the RyeACT Youth Action Team below and follow them on social media:

RyeACT Facebook: @RyeACTCoalition
RyeACT Instagram: @ryeactyouth
IBH Facebook: @InstituteforBehaviorandHealth
One Choice Facebook: @OneChoiceYouth
One Choice Instagram: @OneChoiceYouth

Thursday: Preventing Youth Tobacco Use (E-cigarettes & Vaping)
To highlight this important topic, we are happy to collaborate with Dan Zsido, Retired Lieutenant with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division, volunteer for NOPE (Narcotics Overdose Prevention Education) of Pinellas, DFAF board member, and trainer and education director for the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, for a brief presentation: Vaping, It’s Not Just Water. What Parents & Educators Need to Know.
Friday: Preventing Suicide
As we conclude National Prevention Week, take a moment to listen to a concluding message from our Executive Director, Amy Ronshausen, and review the resources related to the last health theme, Preventing Suicide. Thank you for joining us for National Prevention Week!

Social Media Challenge 
Participate in this year’s challenge, #PreventionHappensHere, by sharing where you’re preventing substance misuse and suicide with these simple steps:

Link to other social media props.