October was first declared as National Substance Abuse Prevention Month in 2011
The month is a dedicated time to:
Highlight the vital role of substance abuse prevention in both individual and community health
To remember those who have lost their lives to substance abuse
To acknowledge those in recovery, as well as children, parents, family, and friends supporting them
Studies show that the earlier an individual starts smoking, drinking or using other drugs, the greater the likelihood of developing addiction. Said another way, the earlier a person begins using a tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs the likelier that person is to develop an addiction.
The 2019 national “Monitoring the Future” survey overview prioritized the following information:
There were highly significant increases in vaping nicotine and vaping marijuana
Alcohol remains the substance most widely used by teenagers
9 out of 10 – 9/10 people who abuse or are addicted to nicotine, alcohol or other drugs began using these substances before they were 18
7x more likely – People who began using addictive substances before age 15 are nearly 7x likelier to develop a substance problem than those who delay first use until age 21 or older
KCTC Student Survey data indicates decreasing prevalence of regular substance use among youth in recent history, as evidenced among surveyed 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th graders in Kansas reporting:
Talking about drugs and alcohol with youth and young adults can be a difficult task, but National Substance Abuse Prevention Month can give parents, caregivers, and other adults a good opportunity for the topic. Most people don’t know as much about addiction and brain development as we think, and yet it’s important to lead without lecturing.
Here are some tips recommended for talking with youth and young adults this month, and throughout the year-