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We Can All Prevent Substance Abuse!

Approximately 23 million Americans currently use illicit drugs. However, the use of illicit drugs is preventable. October 2014 is the National Substance Abuse Prevention Month.  This month is a tribute to those who prevent substance abuse every day, as well as an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to preventing substance abuse in order to make our communities healthier and safer.

Prevention should start at a young age because drug use itself can start at a young age.  Research shows that those who start using drugs at an earlier age are more vulnerable to serious drug dependence. Therefore it is important to start prevention early with youth and continue with preventative education into adulthood to help them continue to sustain from drug use.

Some people may think they do not have to worry about prevention because their child will not start using drugs. However, drugs do not discriminate; any person no matter their upbringing may turn to drug use. Since anyone can be affected by drugs, everyone should be exposed to preventative education. It is important that before someone is given the opportunity to use a drug, they know the effects of that drug and how to refuse it, as well as how to make healthy decisions, set goals and deal with stress.

Although any person may turn to substance abuse, there are a number of risk factors that may lead to substance abuse that are preventable. These risk factors include but are not limited to: availability of alcohol and other drugs, insufficient laws and policies to reduce substance use, social norms favorable towards substance use, community disorganization, parental attitudes favorable towards drugs, perceived risk of drug use, friends who use drugs, and peer rewards for drug use. Each of these risk factors can be prevented, and thus lead to a decrease in substance abuse. As a community, we must work together to create an environment aimed towards preventing substance abuse.

There are many ways each of us can work together to create a community and culture that believes substance abuse is not okay and works towards preventing it. One simple step each of us should take today is to sign the Prevention Pledge.  The Prevention Pledge allows you to pledge yourself to any of 11 purposed actions that promote healthy life styles and prevent substance abuse. Let the Prevention Pledge be your first step to committing yourself to preventing substance abuse in your community.

Everyone can play a role in prevention.  Small actions make a big difference.  Choose items below and pledge to take action to prevent substance abuse and promote healthy living.

I will...

  • Talk to others about the prevention of substance use and the promotion of mental, emotional and behavioral well-being.
  • Host or attend an event that focuses on the prevention of substance abuse and community action around this issue.
  • Plan and host a drug- and alcohol-free party or gathering.
  • Encourage my children, friends and/or family members to improve their behavioral health by promoting rest, a healthy diet, physical exercise, and time outdoors.
  • Point loved ones in the direction of resources that can help them improve their mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being.
  • Talk with a friend or loved one who has been having a difficult time and discuss things that are bothering him/her.
  • Be a role model in my community by abstaining from alcohol abuse and illicit drug use.
  • Volunteer with a community program or organization that provides support for at-risk populations such as youth, Tribal communities, and military families.
  • Encourage my local school district to implement an alcohol and substance use prevention program and provide programs to promote students’ mental health.
  • Spread the prevention message online by posting about substance abuse prevention on my Facebook and Twitter pages, and on my blog or website.
  • Encourage friends, family, neighbors, and loved ones to sign the Prevention Pledge!

I know that prevention matters!  I pledge to take action to prevent substance abuse and promote mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being.  I recognize that I have the ability to make a difference-in my own life, in the lives of my friends and family, and in my community.  I pledge to take responsibility for the daily choices that I make and to focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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The Council's Mission

The Council offers hope and recovery to people struggling with addictive behaviors and strengthens our community through prevention and education programs.

The Council's Core Values

HOPE -   Our attitude, relationships and skills project the belief that positive change can occur and goals can be achieved.

CARING & COMPASSION -  We understand that those we serve have needs for caring and compassion as they do the hard work of addressing their addiction. We communicate this from our initial welcoming message and continue throughout their stay. Our staff has similar needs, and to be effective, we need to encourage a culture of caring and compassion for each other.

COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE -  Our services reflect a thorough understanding of the strengths and needs of those we serve and offer a range of high quality, evidence-based practices in the field of addiction. We continuously improve our services through assessing our outcomes, our wise use of resources, responding to changing community needs and supporting the development of our staff.

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