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The original item was published from 5/3/2017 9:00:25 AM to 5/19/2017 12:00:01 AM.

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Public Health

Posted on: May 3, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Ipswich Public Health Stresses the Importance of Substance Use Prevention During National Prevention

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 publications.

“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 wellness issues.   

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.

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