You are cordially invited to become a proactive partner in the prevention of youth substance abuse.
A common answer to this invitation may sound something like this:
“No, thank you.
I’m pretty busy with my own job which has absolutely nothing to do with substance abuse prevention. In addition to that, I’m a parent, a spouse, an adult child of aging parents and a sibling. I’m active at my church, belong to several civic and professional organizations and volunteer with my child’s sports league. So, you see, I’m way too busy to take on anything else, especially something I know NOTHING about. So, thanks, but…
Wait a minute! Let me ask you a few questions. Have you ever:
- Talked to your child about why drinking alcohol or using other drugs is harmful and should be avoided?
- Encouraged your family to eat dinner together regularly?
- Refused to serve alcohol at a party for teens?
- Involved your family in volunteering and community service?
- Provided opportunities for your child to engage in positive free time activities such as sports or the performing arts?
- Offered to be the designated driver when you went to an adult function that involved drinking?
- Explained to a friend, relative or colleague why you think it’s not a good idea to legalize marijuana or other drugs that are illegal?
- Participated in a health fair at your place of work or worship?
- Asked your aging relatives to keep their prescription medications in secure places so that they’re not available to children?
- Chaperoned a group of kids to make sure they were safe and supervised?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then guess what? You’re already involved in substance abuse prevention and you didn’t even know it. Prevention can be as simple as taking the time to talk to your children as they grow and mature about all the reasons it’s better for them to stay away from alcohol and other drugs. It doesn’t take an advanced degree or full-time job to be a prevention proponent. Everyone can contribute to prevention in various ways throughout their lives.
Families that eat dinner together regularly are less likely to have children that get involved in drugs or other high risk behaviors. Children who have opportunities to volunteer are less likely to use drugs and often become lifelong volunteers. Individuals that are concerned about their health and well-being are less likely to abuse substances of any kind. Children and teens who are engaged in positive after-school programs and extra-curricular activities are more likely to stay away from drugs.
This week is National Prevention Week. Follow #NPW2014 on social media sites to find out more about prevention strategies that really work and why they are so important. It’s a week to celebrate people involved in prevention around the country. So, we’re actually celebrating YOU because you’ve taken the time and effort to do many of the little things in life that make a big difference. THANK YOU!!
Don’t believe those who say, “We’ve lost the War on Drugs.” Prevention is alive and well and making a huge difference in communities across Georgia and the rest of the country. Prevention works! It’s encouraging young people to do their best and have a vision for their future. It’s providing opportunities for children and youth to succeed in school, consciously make good decisions and hang out with peers who are engaged in healthy, positive activities. It’s reporting stores that sell alcohol to minors without checking their IDs. It’s making sure there are places for kids to socialize that are safe, supervised and alcohol/drug-free. It’s talking to your elected officials so they know how you feel about keeping kids safe from illegal drugs.
Want to know more? Becoming a prevention champion is only a click away! Visit our website, and if you’re on social media, follow and like us. Share, re-tweet and re-pin information you find interesting or helpful with others. We want you to get hooked… on prevention!!