Changing Attitudes: Alcohol Awareness Month (Posted January 2018)
Be ready. Alcohol Awareness Month is getting close. Each April since 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) has sponsored Alcohol Awareness Month with the goals to increase public awareness and understanding, reduce the stigma of alcoholism and to encourage communities to focus on alcohol-related issues. The 2018 theme, Changing Attitudes: It’s not a ‘rite of passage,’ is designed to highlight the various opportunities individuals, families, and communities have to educate teens and young adults on the dangers of alcohol use. Even with Illinois’ snow and record breaking cold, April is still close at hand so now is the time to plan on how you and your organizations will highlight the message as parents and community members we often forgive underage drinking and identify it as a “rite of passage.” Assuming our young citizens will “get through it” is dangerous. We can change our attitude and take an active role in learning about alcohol and drugs and help young people do the same by participating Alcohol Awareness Month.
As a community and as parents, knowing young people are less likely to develop problems associated with alcohol when first use is delayed is a very important message to send out to our younger citizens. A vital part of Alcohol Awareness Month is the Alcohol-Free Weekend (March 30-April 1, 2018). The weekend is designed to raise public awareness about the use of alcohol and how it may be affecting individuals, families, and the community. To support these efforts, NCADD extends an open invitation to all Americans, young and old, to participate in three alcohol-free days.
To learn more information about NCADD, underage drinking, Alcohol Awareness Month and Alcohol-Free Weekend, visit the NCADD website at: www.ncadd.org.
The Opioid Crisis in America: Time to Spread Awareness
(Posted November 2017)
As communities in the United States are aware, there is a dramatic increase in overdose deaths involving prescription opioid pain relievers. This issue has led to determined efforts to curb the opioid drug crisis. One of the many resources available to help make a difference is the next National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW) to be held Jan. 22-28, 2018. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) sponsor NDAFW as an annual, weeklong series of educational events that bring together teens and scientific experts to SHATTER THE MYTHS® about substance use and addiction. NIDA and NIAAA are both parts of the National Institutes of Health.
If your community is interested in holding a prescription drug-focused event for National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week®, NIDA has resources to assist you in planning an event that focuses primarily on opioids and other prescription drugs. NIDA provides links for the resources to support you and your community in the planning process.
The materials, including booklets and educational posters, can be ordered directly from the NIDA clearinghouse in advance of your NDAFW event. Orders must be placed by January 15, 2018, for guaranteed arrival. Promoting your event for National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® has never been easier! NIDA’s Promote with Online Toolkit section has everything you need to generate buzz for your event. For help with planning your event, visit NIDA’s 5 Steps to Hosting an NDAFW Event and the Get Activity Ideas & Toolkits page. Start planning when you visit: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/national-drug-alcohol-facts-week/get-activity-ideas/opioids-other-prescription-drugs-event-toolkit.
Celebrate National Recovery Month
Every September, programs and communities across the country celebrate National Recovery Month. Recovery Month is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life.
Recovery Month celebrates the achievements made by those in recovery and reinforces the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health. The celebrations are as varied as the “journey” each person takes in their recovery process. Often success stories are shared with neighbors, friends, and families reinforcing the positive message of recovery. By doing so, each story shared helps to increase awareness and a better understanding of the disease of substance use disorder and mental health disorder.
The theme for Recovery Month 2017 is Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities. The 2017 theme highlights the value of family and community support throughout recovery and invites individuals in recovery and their family members to share their experience.
To learn more about Recovery Month visit https://www.recoverymonth.gov/.