Substance Abuse Prevention Month
From falling behind in school, to risky sexual behavior, to overdosing, the effects of substance abuse can hinder a young person’s ability to succeed. Substance abuse can take many forms, including illicit drug use, nonmedical use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and underage drinking and alcohol dependency.
You can use your program to help prevent youth substance abuse. If you work with young people, remind them that even when it seems like “everyone is doing it,” most youth are not using illicit substances. Let them know that they can come to you for help if they or someone they know is struggling with substance abuse. By talking with youth early and often about the dangers of drug and alcohol use, we can help set them firmly on a path toward a brighter future.
- Help youth see that most of their peers do not use drugs. Create a social norms campaign with youth in your program. Check out this tip sheet for ideas and ways to get started.
- Get tips for preventing drug use among youth from SAMHSA's new Keeping Youth Drug Free guide for parents and youth providers.
- Offer opportunities for youth to get involved in after-school activities, like sports or volunteering, where they may be less likely to engage in substance use.
- Learn more about the risk and protective factors and warning signs of substance abuse so you are equipped to help at-risk youth.
- Find evidence-based individual and environmental prevention strategies that you can incorporate into your adolescent pregnancy prevention program and your community.
This month, create and nurture an environment that promotes behavioral health and empowers youth to be substance-free.