October 2012 marks the second annual National Substance Abuse Prevention month. The Office of National Drug Control Policy and President Obama joined forces in 2011 to encourage the on-going prevention efforts of substance abuse issues among teens and young adults. Drug abuse is an ongoing problem for youth today as over twenty three million people over the age of twelve used illicit drugs in 2010. Abuse can take shape in a number of forms including alcohol dependency, addiction to street drugs and the growing concern of prescription drug abuse. Evidence-based prevention programs have proven highly effective at reducing the financial burdens associated with drug use. Studies show that for every dollar invested in preventive programs up to $18 dollars can be seen in treatment savings of the disorder.
Substance abuse and addiction are often times the result of another underlying disorder like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or eating disorders. To treat the addiction and the associated disorder an accurate dual diagnosis is often needed. Dual diagnosis is a two pronged attack taking on both the problematic addiction and the underlying disorder that is helping to fuel the addiction. There are a number of addiction clinics that can be a valuable source to young people dealing with addiction. Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, believes that underage drinking and drug abuse are significant threats to the health and well-being of our Nation’s young people.
National Substance Abuse Prevention month is a community based approach at educating parents, government officers and the youth in an attempt to deter drug problems before they begin. By raising awareness the Office of National Drug Control Policy hopes to create an open dialogue within the community about the problems surrounding drug abuse in young people. Prevention is vital in achieving the long term goal of a healthier, safer community. For more information and how you can get involved click here: National Substance Abuse Prevention Month.