Recognizing National Prevention Week 2021

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Peace Valley Recovery is located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Our mission is to provide patient-centered care that focuses on healing and recovery from addiction. This blog provides information, news, and uplifting content to help people in their recovery journey.

Authored by Elliott Redwine, | Medically Reviewed by Peace Valley Recovery Editorial Staff,
Last Updated: March 5, 2023

This year marks the 10th anniversary of National Prevention Week (NPW)! National Prevention Week is dedicated to raising awareness and providing resources to promote alcohol and drug addiction prevention. Communities and organizations across the United States come together to inspire action and offer solutions to the growing problem of addiction.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, heads the annual observance. This year NPW is May 9 through the 15th and though the events and activities may look a little different this year, the sentiment remains the same. Bringing communities together, whether in person or virtually, will help the fight against drugs and alcohol.

Why do we need National Prevention Week and what can you do to recognize the cause and get involved? Keep reading to learn more about National Prevention Week 2021!

More About National Prevention Week

National Prevention Week started in 2011 as another resource to start the conversation about the impact of addiction. SAMHSA saw the beginning of May as the perfect time to recognize National Prevention Week since it comes right before the start of summer. It’s a time to encourage schools, communities, and professionals to recommit to encouraging drug and alcohol use prevention.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, adolescents and young adults heading to college often try drugs or alcohol for the first time during June or July. Holding NPW at the beginning of summer provides another opportunity to support young people to stand up against the pressures they face.

When schools and youth organizations recognize National Prevention Week before the start of summer, it leaves adolescents with a lasting awareness. Encouraging them to stay alcohol- and drug-free as the school year ends may keep them from experimenting during the summer months.

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Since its introduction, participation in NPW continues growing. SAMHSA uses the week as a way to celebrate the culmination of prevention efforts in communities and organizations around the country. It takes involvement throughout the whole year to keep kids drug-free, not just one week out of the year.

The National Prevention Week Purpose

SAMHSA set up National Prevention Week focused on three main areas: community involvement, partner engagement, and resource sharing. Each area of focus has its own primary goal:

  • Community Involvement: Raise awareness surrounding substance use and mental health issues in communities, involve them in prevention strategy implementation, and demonstrate the benefits of evidence-based prevention programs
  • Partner Engagement: Build partnerships and encourage collaborations between federal agencies and national organizations committed to improving public health
  • Resource Sharing: Promote quality resources and information about drug and alcohol use prevention and mental health

Along with the areas of focus and individual goals, each day of the week is dedicated to a particular topic of interest. The daily topics for this National Prevention Week are:

  • Monday, May 10th: Preventing Prescription Drug and Opioid Misuse
  • Tuesday, May 11th: Preventing Underage Drinking and Alcohol Misuse
  • Wednesday, May 12th: Preventing Illicit Drug Use and Youth Marijuana Use
  • Thursday, May 13th: Preventing Youth Tobacco, Vaping, and E-Cigarette Use
  • Friday, May 14th: Preventing Suicide
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Promoting a wide variety of goals and topics provides organizations with opportunities to start numerous conversations. The more people understand and discuss the pressing topics that adolescents and adults face, the more communities will continue working toward discovering solutions.

SAMHSA encourages organizations to keep these goals in mind not only during National Prevention Week but throughout the entire year. Starting conversations and sharing information are two vital ways to slow the devastating impact of drug and alcohol addiction and mental illness.