Canaan, CT – People who use drugs or drink alcohol before the age of 15 increase their chances of becoming addicted sevenfold, compared to those who begin using at age 21 or older. During National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, Mountainside treatment center in Canaan, CT encourages people to help addicted individuals find a healthy, full life in sobriety.
Substance Abuse Prevention Month shines a spotlight on the vital role of prevention measures in both individual and community health. Addiction impacts everyone – families, employers, and even newborn babies. In 2017, the use of drugs and alcohol in the workplace accounted for 13 percent of fatal occupational injuries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Aside from raising the risk of injury, substance abuse at school or work can result in decreased motivation, lower productivity, higher absenteeism, and erratic behavior. In addition to these risks, addiction can strain family bonds at home.
Youth in particular need to be made aware of the dangers of smoking, drinking, and using other drugs. Those who start using substances earlier are more likely to develop an addiction. According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, 9 out of 10 people who struggle with substance abuse started using drugs and alcohol before the age of 18.
Everyone can play a role in improving access to addiction education and treatment resources. Community leaders, educators, and employers can connect vulnerable individuals with lifesaving care by learning how to spot signs of addiction in schools and the workplace. Through education and prevention efforts, Americans can learn how to make healthy choices and build safer communities.
“Parents and other authority figures can play a vital role in prevention efforts by setting a positive example for our youth. If they suspect that a young person is using drugs or drinking, they should watch for signs, such as secretive behavior, sudden changes in friends, or a loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed,” says Amy Sedgwick, Director of Clinical Operations at Mountainside. “People who have a strong support system and are informed about the risks of drugs and alcohol can drastically lower their chances of developing a substance use disorder.”
For additional information about preventing or addressing addiction, contact a local treatment center.