Substance Abuse Prevention Month
by Megan Scott, Director for the Morgan County Partnership
The Morgan County Commission signed a proclamation that announced October as National Substance Abuse Prevention Month on October 4. This is a month-long observance to highlight the role substance abuse prevention plays in promoting safe and healthy communities. In addition, the month provides an important opportunity to pay tribute to the tragic losses attributed to substance abuse.
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 the Nation’s youth and young adults. Stopping use before it begins can increase a person’s chances of living a longer, healthier, and more productive life.
Recent research has shown that each dollar invested in an evidence-based prevention program can reduce costs related to substance abuse use disorders by an average of $18. Through effective prevention programs, improvements can be made in student achievement and workforce readiness, and decreases can be seen in emergency room visits, and rates of chronic disease.
The Morgan County Partnership is a local non-profit organization that works towards alcohol and drug prevention in the county. The Partnership’s vision is to build a supportive network of resources for the county’s young people, their families and others connected to them in order to create a safe, healthy and drug free community.
For the month of October, the Morgan County Partnership is organizing its first Above the Influence Media Campaign, which includes both a poster contest and a writing contest for students in middle and high school. “Above the Influence” asks students to express themselves through art and words about how they rise above instead of live under negative influences.
Prizes will be awarded to the winners of each contest. In addition, October 18 is the official National “Above the Influence” Day and we are looking for students of all ages who are interested in participating in our Above the Influence video.
Participating students will answer one of four questions about their future or why he/she chooses to stay above the influences and then their picture is taken. The picture will be added to a photo story of the youth’s responses. The goal of this event is to get 100 youth from around the county captured in the video.
For more information about National Substance Abuse Prevention Month or the Above the Influence Media Campaign, contact the Morgan County Partnership at 304-258-7807.