National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week
Jan. 23 through Jan. 29 is National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week. This week-long health observance aims to provide scientific information on the risks that can exist with drug and alcohol abuse. As reported in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) fact sheets: “Youth who start drinking before age 15 years are six times more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after age 21 years,” and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that alcohol is a factor in over 4,000 deaths of young people under the age of 21 each year.
SAMHSA reports that the use of illicit drugs among Americans increased between 2008 and 2010 with marijuana being one of the most commonly used. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy reports: “More Americans now die every year from drug overdoses than they do in motor vehicle crashes, and the majority involve opioids.” More than 400,000 people in the United States die each year from tobacco-related disease.
Prevention can begin by learning more about how drugs and alcohol affect the brain and body, and by identifying and addressing the root causes for substance abuse. The Brown County Prevention Alliance’s vision is for a safe and healthy community for our youth and families to thrive. Community members are encouraged to become active in prevention efforts through checking out the Alliance’s website (www.browncountyprevention.org), the Alliance’s facebook page, as well as participating in the monthly meetings as posted on the website.
For facts on drugs and alcohol, check out the NIDA resources for teens, parents, teachers and community members found at www.teens.drugabuse.gov. The more we know the more we can strive for healthy solutions.
Prevention Resource Coordinator