Did You Know October Is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month?


Is your calendar full? Think about this: there are 12 months, 52 weeks, and 365 days in each year. It seems for every one of these days, weeks or months there are specific causes that promoters want us to advance by sharing the message, promoting donations, and encouraging engagement. This is called advocacy.  So before October 2012 slips away…let’s shine some light on National Substance Abuse Prevention Month.

The history of National Substance Abuse Prevention Month

The history is actually brief! It was only in 2011 when President Obama issued the first-ever Presidential Proclamation designating October National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. In 2012 the president renewed the efforts, proclaiming:

“This month, we pay tribute to all those working to prevent substance abuse in our communities, and we rededicate ourselves to building a safer, drug-free America.”

Director Kerlikowske of the Office of National Drug Control Policy provides a perspective on Prevention Month.

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.

Ways to get involved in National Substance Abuse Prevention Month

There are a number of ways to get involved; however, tomorrow, October 18, 2012, is the first annual “Above the Influence Day” (ATI Day). Above the Influence is a youth-targeted campaign which is trying to balance a broad prevention message at a national level, while targeting youth in our local communities.

If you are having trouble viewing this video, you can see it here.

If time constraints don’t allow you to get involved on a national or local level, there is a way to get involved by turning the lens on your own family dynamic. Do a family checkup! The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) presents Positive Parenting Prevents Drug Abuse.

Awareness and advocacy…

In a perfect world each citizen would find a meaningful cause to support. The truth is most of us are so busy with our families and careers that it is often takes a life changing event to jump start our personal advocacy activities. It is when we come face to face with the realities of a life threatening disease, like addiction, that we suddenly want to make time or need to make time to get involved, to learn more, and to engage with our families and our broader communities. 

Remember taking the first step is usually the hardest step. So get involved…you won’t be sorry!

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