The Arizona Division of Behavioral Health Services (DBHS) and the Governor’s Office for Children, Youth and Families (GOCYF) is partnering with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in support of National Prevention Week, a national health observance focused on raising awareness of programs, strategies, and resources to prevent substance abuse and mental disorders. National Prevention Week takes place May 17–23, 2015.
This year’s theme, The Voice of One, the Power of All, highlights the important role that individuals and communities alike have in helping people lead healthy, productive lives. Preventing the onset of substance abuse and mental illness among all age groups is important. No one is immune from these issues.
It’s especially vital to harness the power of prevention for young Americans:
- Teens and pre-teens who try an illicit drug or drink alcohol at age 14 or younger are at least four times more likely to be classified with substance dependence or abuse as adults.
- Among adults reporting a mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder during their lifetime, more than half report that the disorder started in childhood or adolescence.
- Behavioral health issues are not just the problem of “him,” “her,” or “that person over there.” Cities, towns, and neighborhoods are webs of interconnected people. The effects of one person experiencing substance abuse or a mental disorder can touch the lives of many others in a community.
DBHS is committed to reducing underage drinking and prescription drug abuse in Arizona. Currently, we are working together with GOCYF to disseminate among Arizona substance abuse partners, an information, resource and training packet focused on prevention of prescription drug abuse. This includes best practice models for safe drug disposal, Pharmacy programs identifying and reducing ‘doctor shopping’ as well as considerations for safe, effective prescribing protocols.
You can join DBHS, GOCYF, and SAMHSA in observing National Prevention Week 2015 by participating in the “I Choose” campaign. Show your support for prevention of substance abuse and other behavioral health issues by taking a self-photo while displaying a positive message or reason for living healthy on a plain white sheet of paper. Then send your photo with details of name, business affiliation, state/county/zip-code, and legible rewritten ‘I Choose’ statement to NewMedia@samhsa.hhs.gov. Visit the National Prevention Week website to learn more about how to get involved.
Your voice matters, and together, we have the power to create positive environments for the health of our families, our peers, and our community.
 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2014). Results from the 2013 National
Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-48, HHS
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