NPW 2022

National Prevention Week May 8 - 14

Publication Date: Apr 22, 2022

 

National prevention week is an annual observance that will be conducted this year from May 8 to May 14. National Prevention Week is a platform dedicated to bringing communities and organizations together to increase awareness about the importance of prevention in substance use and the push for positive mental health promotion.1 The National Survey on drug use and health reports that approximately 19 million American adults (12 and older) battled some sort of substance use in 2017.2 In that same year it is also reported that 1 out of every 8 adults struggled with both alcohol and drug use disorders simultaneously.1 The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that drug misuse and addiction may costs the American Society approximately $740 billion annually in lost workplace productivity, expenses of healthcare and costs related to crime.3 While these statistics may be daunting, it is essential to continue national observances such as National Prevention Week to shed light on the importance of prevention. This empowers prevention professionals to continue the work towards implementing evidence-based strategies for substance misuse. It increases community awareness to be empowered in their way to further this knowledge.

 

SAMHSA states on their website that the primary aims of National Prevention Week are to :

  • Involve communities in increasing awareness of substance use and mental health and implementing prevention strategies, and showcasing the effectiveness of evidence-based prevention programs
  • Advance partnerships and collaborations with federal agencies and national organizations dedicated to the agenda of public health
  • Promote and disseminate quality substance use prevention and mental health promotion resources and publications

 

Additionally, every year, National Prevention week includes daily themes to help reinforce the focus on substance misuse and mental health promotion through various topics. This year, themes include:1

 

  • Monday, May 9: Strengthening Community Resilience: Substance Misuse and Overdose Prevention;

 

 

 

 

 

  • Saturday, May 14: Celebrating Prevention Heroes

 

According to the Addiction Policy Forum, evidence-based prevention programs may dramatically reduce substance use disorder and substance use rates. Policies such as cost increases on alcohol may reduce rates of binge drinking.4 Prevention professionals are encouraged to engage with the daily themes to promote the importance of prevention while engaging in evidence-based strategies to further this in their practice. The Central East PTTC will be offering a webinar on Stigma and Substance Use Prevention: What Prevention Professionals and Others Can Do. Also, SAMHSA provides more information on National Public Health Week, found here

 
  1. About national prevention week. SAMHSA. https://www.samhsa.gov/prevention-week/about. Published April 12, 2022. Accessed April 21, 2022.
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2018). Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2017). Trends & Statistics.
  4. The importance of drug prevention. APF. https://www.addictionpolicy.org/post/the-importance-of-drug-prevention. Published August 16, 2020. Accessed April 21, 2022.