October Is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month

October 2nd, 2012

October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, a month-long observance that focuses on the role substance abuse prevention plays in promoting safe and healthy communities.

The Scope of Substance Abuse in America

Substance use, including underage drinking and the non-medical use of prescription and over-the-counter medications, significantly affects the health and well-being of our nation’s youth and people of all ages:

  • An estimated 10 million people aged 12 to 20 report drinking alcohol during the past month.1 To put that in perspective, there are more Americans who have engaged in underage drinking than the number of people who live in the state of Michigan.2
  • Approximately 23 million Americans—roughly the population of Australia—are current illicit drug users.3-4 Marijuana use and non-medical use of prescription medications are the most common types of drug use in America.
  • Almost 18 million Americans are classified with alcohol dependence or abuse.5
    • Heavy alcohol use can cause serious damage to the body and affects the liver, nervous system, muscles, lungs, and heart.6
    • Alcohol is a factor in approximately 41 percent of deaths from motor vehicle crashes.7

Stopping substance abuse before it begins can increase a person’s chances of living a longer, healthier, and more productive life.

To learn more and to get some good resources go to the SAMHSA website –


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