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Awareness and education: ball is in your court

May 13, 2012
By CATHY BROWNFIELD - Family Recovery Center , Salem News

LISBON - Ohio governor, John Kasich, has declared May "Substance Abuse Awareness and Education Month. The focus is on who can make a difference in substance abuse and what can be done. The who: Everyone. Within this month of learning about substance abuse is National Prevention Awareness Month, May 20-26.

The questions: What are you doing to prevent substance abuse and promote emotional well being? What can your community do? How will you make it a reality?

Substance abuse is not the problem of only the person who is abusing. Substance abuse does affect that individual. The problems of the abuser also affect the people in that individual's life: the spouse who must cope with the effects of the substance abuse, either by struggling alone or seeking professional help for the household; the children who see what is happening in their homes and are afraid to tell someone or don't know what they should do. The problems associated with substance abuse may end up at school, or children follow the examples set by the substance abusers: prescription drug abuse, alcoholism, physical, mental or emotional abuse, depression, suicide.

Do you know?

-?2.5 million people die each year due to alcohol use and 15.3 million people have a drug dependence. (World Health Organization)

-?Children of alcohol-dependent parents have a 50 percent chance of developing their own dependence.

-?Only 1/3 of parents discuss the risks of abusing prescription medications with their children.

-?Child stressors such as abuse, witnessing domestic violence, and other forms of household dysfunction increase the likelihood of depression and suicide attempts in children, adolescents and adults. (Adverse Childhood Experiences-ACE-study)

-?4.3 million people aged 12 and older received treatment for substance abuse disorders in 2009.

Also in 2009, nearly 20.9 million people age 12 and older needed, but did not get treatment for substance abuse disorders. Less than 10 percent of people with substance use disorders receive treatment which costs society over $300 billion annually.

The annual economic cost of mental health problems is estimated at $79 billion. Most of that is in lost productivity in the workplace.

The goals are to celebrate what is done year round to prevent substance abuse and promote mental, emotional and behavioral well being, advises SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).

"We will be celebrating our prevention successes and building bridges to partners who care deeply about creating resilient and prevention-prepared communities."

So the old adage, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is pertinent to our community. "Preventive servicesprovide people with the information they need to make good decisions about their health."

What can you do about substance abuse? You can educate yourself, your children, your neighbors and friends. For helpful information contact Family Recovery Center at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or email:

Note: There are 150 ways to show kids you care: #1: Notice them. #2: Smile a lot. #3: Acknowledge them.

Coming June 16: Carwash ($5 donation) and bake sale at Family Recovery Center, 964 N. Market St., Lisbon, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Proceeds benefit the women and children of Fleming House. For information call 330-420-3760.



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