WHAT IS NATIONAL PREVENTION WEEK?
National Prevention Week (NPW) is a SAMHSA-sponsored annual health observance dedicated to increasing the prevention of substance use and promotion of mental health. The observance brings individuals, organizations, coalitions, states, and communities together through local events to raise awareness about the importance of preventing substance use and mental disorders.
WHEN IS NATIONAL PREVENTION WEEK?
NPW takes place May 13–19, 2018. Near the kickoff of summer, this is an ideal time for communities to come together and rally around prevention. NPW is also timed to allow schools to take part in a prevention-themed event before the school year ends, raising awareness among students of all ages.
WHAT’S THE THEME OF NATIONAL PREVENTION WEEK 2018?
The NPW 2018 theme is “Action Today. Healthier Tomorrow.” This theme reminds us that simple, daily acts of prevention, like helping a friend make positive choices or supporting a family member in need, can lead to healthier lives for each of us today, and stronger, happier communities tomorrow.
WHAT TOPICS DOES NATIONAL PREVENTION WEEK ADDRESS?
Six of the seven days during NPW have a suggested health topic that communities can focus on:
- Promotion of Mental Health & Wellness (Monday, May 14)-This day should be used to promote your own mental, emotional, and behavioral health. It is important to take care that both the mind and body stay healthy.
- Prevention of Underage Drinking & Alcohol Misuse (Tuesday, May 15)-This day focus on educating youth about the dangers of alcohol and encourage them not to drink while underage. There is a reason for kids to wait to start drinking alcohol; while under the age of 21. The brain is still maturing and alcohol can alter the structure and functioning of the developing brain. Drinking underage can cause problems with the brain that may last well after it has fully matured.
- Prevention of Prescription & Opioid Drug Misuse (Wednesday, May 16)-This day should focus on informing those who may abuse prescription drugs or use illicit drugs that there is help out there for them. If you know someone who may have a drug problem, it is important for them to seek help to overcome this problem. It may be difficult for them to seek out help, but recovery is important for their overall physical, mental and social health.
- Prevention of Illicit Drug Use & Youth Marijuana Use (Thursday, May 17)-This day should focus on increasing knowledge around illicit drugs and their effects. People should be careful to find nonbiased, truthful information in order to inform their opinions. Remember, using any illicit substance can cause the users problems.
- Prevention of Suicide (Friday, May 18)-This day should focus on letting those who may have suicidal thoughts know that there is always help and there is always someone to talk to. If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Out of all American deaths, suicide is the 10th leading cause.
- Prevention of Youth Tobacco Use (Saturday, May 19)-This day should focus on becoming more educated and to educate others of the many negative effects of tobacco and emphasize the importance of cessation (quitting). One in every 5 deaths is due to the adverse health effects caused by cigarette smoke. That is a huge amount of lives that could be saved if everyone chose cessation.