National Substance Abuse Prevention Month in October

October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, a time to bring awareness to substance abuse and how the cycle of use begins. In an effort for young individuals to recognize the signs before the cycle starts, National Substance Abuse Prevention Month aims to slow, and eventually stop, the rising numbers of substance abuse statistics. Various organizations and governments have started using National Months and Days to help bring awareness to certain issues, which can prove to be very beneficial for the causes they support.

History of National Substance Abuse Prevention Month

According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, October was first declared as National Substance Abuse Prevention Month in 2011. Since then, October has been a 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 an addiction.

Some statistics the same organization reports are as follows:

  • 9 out of 10 individuals who abuse or are addicted to nicotine, alcohol or other drugs began using these substances before they were 18
  • Individuals who began using addictive substances before age 15 are nearly 7 times likelier to develop a substance problem than those who delay first use until age 21 or older
  • Every year that substance use is delayed during the period of adolescent brain development, the risk of addiction and substance abuse decrease

Why National Substance Abuse Prevention Month?

While most can agree that preventing substance abuse should be integrated into children’s lives, understanding how to do it effectively is what makes National Substance Abuse Prevention Month so important.

Organizations that support youth substance abuse prevention are able to receive awareness and extra funding for their work during this time. In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, substance abuse costs our country an estimated $740 billion every year. Research shows that for every dollar invested in an evidence-based prevention program, the costs related to substance use disorders decrease by an average of $18.

This means that organizations are not only raising necessary funds in order to continue preventing substance abuse in children, but their work and the money invested in them are also saving the country money in real-time.

How to Practice Substance Abuse Prevention All Year

While National Substance Abuse Prevention Month is a great time to learn the necessary tools and tips for preventing substance abuse in children, it is important to put those efforts into practice. Some ways to do this are by starting early, getting the family involved and using open, honest means of education.

Early Intervention

It is extremely important for children to learn about substance abuse prevention early – even before they are in high school. While they may be too young to experience a situation involving substance abuse or peer pressure yet, they will be educated and ready to handle those situations as they come later in life.

According to Youth.gov, individuals who begin using alcohol or tobacco when they are very young are more likely to abuse them later in life, when it becomes much more difficult to quit. This is one of many reasons that makes early intervention crucial.

Family Involvement

It is extremely important for parents to have conversations about substance abuse at home, and not rely only on school programs or other influences. Speaking to children about substance abuse while they are young will help lay down a foundation for how they perceive substance abuse, and the fact that the child can come to them should they encounter an uncomfortable situation involving substances.

Honest Education

These days, encountering a situation with substances at some point in life is almost inevitable. That is why it is so important to teach children honest facts about substance abuse and how it can negatively affect their lives. Not only does substance abuse affect development in young individuals, but it can also cause a possible life-long battle with addiction. Being open and honest with children about what these dangers – including death – may entail is extremely important in the prevention process.

About Cliffside Malibu

While National Substance Abuse Prevention Month aims to stop substance abuse before it starts, there are still ways to get help if it already has. Young individuals who suffer from addiction are more likely to have a long-lasting recovery than individuals of an older age. Substance abuse can negatively impact the development of the brain, social skills, relationships and are more likely to suffer from mental health conditions. That is why it is so important to stop substance abuse before it starts and to stop addiction with treatment as early as possible.

Since no two addictions are the same, Cliffside Malibu offers an individualized treatment plan for each and every client. We are committed to providing the best care possible through.a continuum of care including medically supervised detox, residential treatment, day treatment, and outpatient services. Our program includes not only evidence-based treatment, but family therapy and holistic therapy, as well. Whether an individual is suffering from substance abuse and/or alcohol addiction, our programs are designed and structured to be a supportive environment in order to maintain sobriety.

In addition to world-class treatment, Cliffside Malibu offers luxury accommodations, a serene environment, five-star dining, and plentiful amenities. We understand that addiction treatment is a rigorous process. Therefore, we provide for your comfort and relaxation at every turn, allowing you to rejuvenate, to meet the demands of treatment with your greatest energy and attention.

For more information on Cliffside Malibu, visit cliffsidemalibu.com