May 9, 2022

National Prevention Week – What is Prevention and Why Is It So Important?

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) kicks off National Prevention Week from May 8th to May 14th, 2022 this year and we are excited to be participating. SAMHSA will be delivering interactive activities virtually through its public education platform. Let’s join the communities and organizations that raise awareness of the importance of substance use prevention and positive mental health. We all have a role!

National Prevention Week has a different theme each day of the week. This 2022, the daily themes are:

Monday, May 9: Strengthening Community Resilience: Substance Misuse and Overdose Prevention

Tuesday, May 10: Preventing Substance Use and Promoting Mental Health in Youth

Wednesday, May 11: Preventing Suicide: Everyone Plays a Role

Thursday, May 12: The Talent Pipeline: Enhancing the Prevention Workforce

Friday, May 13: Prevention is Everywhere: Highlighting Efforts Across Settings and Communities

Saturday, May 14: Celebrating Prevention Heroes

Prevention and Its Importance

SAMHSA defines prevention as helping people “develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to make good choices or change harmful behaviors.”

Substance use disorder affects the person’s brain and behavior and their ability to control their urge to use drugs and alcohol. The U.S. has one of the highest rates of substance use globally. There is help for the millions of Americans who are managing mental health issues and substance use disorders or co-occurring disorders and utilizing that help can positively impact the person suffering as well as the community at large.

Drug use and abuse are preventable. And knowing what may increase the likelihood of future substance use offers insight for prevention platforms. The risk factors for substance use disorders have been recognized to include mental health disorders, family history of addiction, peer pressure, emotional distress, genetics, and access.

Promoting preventive measures addresses the root causes behind substance use and stops addiction before it begins. The risk factors associated with substance use can be countered with defined strategies, programs, and continued research.

When it comes to prevention strategies, the dissemination of information is crucial. Community involvement is also critical and should bring together parents, kids, neighbors, teachers, leaders, and officials. The message that all life is valuable needs to be communicated and heard.

Please do your part and participate in National Prevention Week by planning your own event. Gather your friends and paint an empowering mural with a theme focused on living healthy lives. Sponsor a fun run or walk for your community—post inspiring content on social media about positive mental health. The possibilities are endless; let's get creative!

We are proud to collaborate with SAMHSA this National Prevention Week. Don’t miss SAMHSA’s Prevention Day 2022! This virtual event will kick off National Prevention Week activities. Register today!