Ounce of prevention quote text

The Importance of Prevention and Mentoring

Publication Date: Jan 04, 2022

According to Merriam- Webster, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The addiction policy forum states that prevention is cost-effective as prevention programs reduce some substance use by over 50%. [1] Additionally, implementing prevention policies such as increasing the cost of alcohol may reduce binge drinking by nearly 10% among men and over 35% among women ². Prevention is also essential for the youth population. According to the CDC, alcohol, marijuana and tobacco are substances most commonly used by adolescents[2].

 

The risks of illicit substances significantly impact growth and development, increase risky behaviors such as sex and drunk driving, and contribute to future health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and sleeping disorders ². Therefore, it is essential to reflect on the role of prevention in all communities to implement best practices that may reduce the rates of substance use.

 

This month also commemorates National Mentoring as we recognize the importance of mentoring and its impact on young lives. National mentoring month aims to:

  • Raise awareness of the various forms of mentoring.
  • Recruit individuals to mentor.
  • Promote the increasing mentoring rate by recruiting organizations to engage their colleagues in mentoring.

 

Mentoring has an impact on substance use prevention among adolescents. A study by Rhodes et al., (2005) explored The Protective Influence of Mentoring on Adolescents' Substance Use. The study included 928 young adolescents and found significant impacts on the frequency of substance use in adolescents matched to a mentor for more than 12 months, thus revealing innovative ways to prevent adolescent substance use[3]. We still battle with the impacts of covid-19 and reflect on the importance of prevention. A webinar on community engagement for prevention practitioners can be found here.


[1] Forum AP. The importance of drug prevention. APF. https://www.addictionpolicy.org/post/the-importance-of-drug-prevention. Published August 16, 2020. Accessed December 17, 2021.

[2] Johnson LD, O’Malley PM, Bachman JG, Schulenberg JE, Miech RA. Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975-2013: Volume 1, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, 2014: 32-36.

[3] Rhodes, J. E., Reddy, R., & Grossman, J. B. (2005). The Protective Influence of Mentoring on Adolescents' Substance Use: Direct and Indirect Pathways. Applied Developmental Science, 9(1), 31–47. https://doi.org/10.1207/s1532480xads0901_4 -19 and reflect on the importance of prevention. A webinar on community engagement for prevention practitioners can be found here.