The Ipswich Public Health
Department is reminding residents about the importance of substance use
prevention in honor of National Prevention Week.
The Substance Abuse and Mental
Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Prevention Week is May
14-20. Every year, communities and organizations across the country come
together to raise awareness of, and action around, substance use disorders and
mental health issues.
Prevention Week aims to achieve
three primary goals focused on discouraging unhealthy habits:
Involve communities in raising awareness about behavioral health
issues and implementing prevention strategies.
Foster partnerships and collaboration with federal agencies and
national organizations dedicated to public health.
Promote and disseminate behavioral health resources and
“Substance abuse is a widespread
issue that affects people in every community, including Ipswich,” said Ipswich
Director of Public Health Colleen Fermon. “We hope to raise awareness about the
dangers of substance abuse and how residents can prevent it and get help if
they need to.”
To show its support for individuals
and families who are affected by addiction and substance abuse, Ipswich Aware
is holding a candlelight vigil on Wednesday, May 17 at the base of Town Hill
from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Ipswich Aware is a multi-disciplinary collaborative
designed to promote community awareness, education and prevention of substance
abuse in the Town of Ipswich.
According to a 2014 SAMHSA study,
approximately 21.5 million people in the United States above the age of 12 have
experienced a substance use disorder, and about one in five adults have dealt
with a mental disorder. National Prevention Week aims to decrease these numbers
by increasing awareness and treatment for these physical and mental health and
Additionally, the Department of
Public Health reports that opioid addiction has accounted for more than half of
the admissions to treatment centers in Massachusetts since 2015. As the number
of people seeking treatment for opioid addiction has increased, so too has the
number of fatal and nonfatal opioid related overdoses.
Residents can participate in
National Prevention Week by using #PreventionPower and sharing photos and
videos of how you make each day count.
For more information on National
Prevention Week, visit the SAMHSA website or call
their national help line at 1-800-487-4889.