October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month

October marks the second annual National Substance Abuse Prevention Month – an observance to highlight the vital role of substance abuse prevention in both individual and community health and to remember those who have lost their lives to alcohol and drugs.

National Substance Abuse Prevention Month encourages prevention efforts this month and all year long to ensure the health of teens and young adults.

According the recently released 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 20.6 million Americans over the age of 12 are addicted to alcohol and drugs; 14.1 million alcohol, 3.9 million illicit drugs, no alcohol and 2.6 million, alcohol and illicit drugs. Plain and simple, underage drinking, alcohol and drug dependence, non-medical use of prescription drugs, abuse of over-the-counter medications, and illicit drug use take a devastating toll on our families and in our communities. For example, young Americans aged 12 to 20 account for 11% of the country’s monthly alcohol consumption; and, approximately 23 million people aged 12 or older used illicit drugs in 2010. This abuse touches all aspects of our communities and contributes to an estimated $416 billion in crime, health care, and lost productivity costs.

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