Choose knowledge and gain the power to empower with these publications, journals, and reports that pertain to youth substance prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery.
Week of March 26, 2023
National Drug and Alcohol Fact Week for 2023 may have come to an end, but with the realization that “Knowledge is Power to Empower,” arming you with life-saving facts remains our ongoing work. Check out these face-filled resources.
Week of March 19, 2023
This week is National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW), an observance that inspires discussion about the science of drug use and addiction among youth. It was launched in 2010 by scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to bring awareness to what science has taught us about drug use and addiction. This special week brings together scientists, students, educators, parents, healthcare providers, and community members to help advance scientific facts relevant in combating youth drug and alcohol use, misuse, and abuse.
Week of March 12, 2023
In recognition of National Drug and Alcohol Facts week, SAFE Project shares facts on fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50-100 times stronger than morphine. Fentanyl overdoses are skyrocketing, with the fastest growing age group being teenagers. Get the facts for a life-saving conversation today.
- SAFE Project – Facts About Fentanyl
- Facts About Fentanyl, presented by youth from the Prevention Empowerment Partnership Team
- SAFE Project – Facts about Fentanyl Test Strips: what they are and how to use them
Week of March 5, 2023
In recognition of National Drug and Alcohol Facts week from March 20-26, SAFE Project is honored to provide these lessons learned segments as tools to assist in gaining facts that can inspire lifesaving dialogue and support holistic wellness.
- Lessons Learned: What are Adverse Childhood Experiences?
- Lessons Learned: Preparing to Talk with Your Child
- Lessons Learned: How to Talk and Listen to Your Teen
Week of February 26, 2023
Children’s Authors and Illustrators Week continues throughout the entire month of February here at SAFE Project! Our third interview is with Trish Luna, author of Timbi Talks About Addiction. Trish was kind enough to sit down with SAFE Project to talk about Timbi, as well as share advice for parents on how to broach the subjects of addiction with very young children.
Trish wrote this book, initially titled My Daddy Has A Problem, when she was challenged with finding ways to communicate to her very young children about what was going on with their father. Feeling isolated and carrying the weight of stigma, she found comfort in relaying kind words in a rhythmic pattern to her children about a very complicated situation.
When she could not find a publisher willing to work with her on such a book, she put the book aside as her children grew. Years later, facing a very similar set of circumstance but this time with her grandchildren, she pulled the book back out. Seeking advice from individuals in the field, Trish renamed the book and was successful in finding a publisher willing to work with her. Today, this beautiful book written specifically to help the youngest and often the silent victims of addiction, Timbi Talks About Addiction, is comforting children in homes and in schools across the country.
This is a true example of how stories connect us, how they transcend generations, and engage us through human emotional connection. Through stories we can share our passions, sadness, hardships, joy, and our hopes.
Week of February 19, 2023
In an extension of national Children’s Authors and Illustrators week, SAFE Project will continue to bring awareness to authors who write books on substance addiction and mental health with a target audience of young children and youth.
SAFE Project was founded on the principle of storytelling and incorporates stories often throughout our initiatives and lines of operation. Stories help individuals make meaning of life. They help explain how things work, how we make decisions, how we encourage others, how we understand our place in the world, and they help create our identities while defining and teaching principle, value, and worth.
SAFE Project recently sat down with Melody Ray, Author of Someone I Love Died From a Drug Overdose. As a grief counselor, Melody has witnessed the devastating impact that children experience when they lose someone to a substance overdose. Having few resources on the topic for young children, she took her lived experience and authored a beautiful book on the topic.
Week of February 12, 2023
This year’s theme for Black History Month is “Black Resistance,” which calls on us all to study and honor the ways Black people have lifted and protected Black lives in the fight for justice, and in order to establish safe spaces where Black life can be fortified and respected.
At SAFE Project we recognize that the Black community has been underserved and criminalized in our nation’s approach to substance use disorders and continues to be excluded from many recovery supports. Through reflecting on the many ways that racism and substance use stigma have often been paired in our nation’s history, we can all find a role in creating a more equitable future.
We are committed to utilizing our platforms to amplify Black voices and the invaluable role that Black Resistance will play in the undoing of the addiction fatality epidemic. We are also committed to looking inward at the ways we have contributed to oppression, learn from the discomfort that brings, and move forward with humility and a growth mindset. Stay tuned as we share resources, recovery stories from the Black community, and more.
- Samuel’s Story: The Other All-American Boy
- Addiction & Mental Health Resources for the Black Community
Week of February 5, 2023
This week, which is National Youth Authors and Illustrators week, SAFE Project will begin efforts to bring awareness to authors who write books on substance addiction and mental health. SAFE Project was founded on the principle of storytelling and incorporates stories often throughout our initiatives and lines of operation. Stories serve as a powerful tool: they unite, calm and comfort, inspire advocacy, create the space for dreams, instill hope; and offer help and direction.
Our featured author this week is Jessica Lahey and her book, The Addiction Inoculation. As a teacher, a mother, and an individual in recovery from an alcohol use disorder, Jessica writes words of wisdom for parents and educators about practical prevention steps. SAFE Project recently sat down with Jessica to learn more about her and the inspiration behind her book.
Week of January 29, 2023
In 2020, SAFE Project launched the No Shame Pledge as the basis in the No Shame Movement. In doing so, we became a leader in actions to end the stigma associated to addiction and mental challenges. Individuals who sign the pledge commit to doing their part to stop stigma surrounding addiction and mental health challenges by empowering others, while encouraging care, treatment, and recovery. YOU can make a difference. Join SAFE Project and the thousands of others who have taken the No Shame Pledge.
Week of January 22, 2023
Principle #4 on the No Shame Pledge: For individuals in recovery, I pledge to support them through their lifelong journey to a self-directed, safe, productive and successful life.
Recovery from addiction and mental health challenges involves a, “process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential” (SAMHSA’s working definition). You can be a source of hope and inspiration by first knowing and accepting recovery as an extremely personal journey, one that will take time, and will involve stages of change. Change happens for everyone through stages; to better understand behavioral change, check out this link that introduces the Transtheoretical Model of change:
Week of January 15, 2023
Principle #3 on the No Shame Pledge: I will encourage individuals to seek the help and treatment needed to address addiction and mental health challenges by providing a shame-free environment.
Making a conscious choice to meet individuals where they are without blame, shame, or judgement equates to healing, growth, and wellness. To seek help on a recovery journey requires a lot of courage, strength, and fortitude. Recognizing and applauding positive change and progress goes a long way.
- Debunk stigma through conversation and action: Become a No Shame Movement Advocate
- Find a treatment facility that matches your needs or the needs of a loved one
Week of January 8, 2023
Principle #2 on the No Shame Pledge: I commit to learning more about the disease of addiction, the mental health challenges that contribute to it, and to changing the conversation surrounding it.
Learning more about the complex disease of addiction and mental health challenges that can contribute to it is a vital step in changing the conversation. Both addiction and mental health challenges are largely misunderstood, with views that are often misunderstood and mistakenly perceived as lack of willpower and poor moral character and principle. Substance addiction for example changes the brain making it hard to quit even for people who really want to do so. The good news is that people can and do recover! Learn more:
- SAFE Solutions: free mental health and substance use disorder strategy and research one-stop shop
- NIH: How Science Has Revolutionized the Understanding of Drug Addiction
- National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI)
Week of January 1, 2023
Principle #1 on the No Shame Pledge: I understand that addiction is a disease, and I pledge to eliminate the stigma for individuals experiencing it.
To understand addiction as a disease, it is helpful to first understand addiction. Addiction as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as, “a compulsive, chronic, physiological, or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, behavior, or activity having harmful physical, psychological or social effects and typically causing well-defined symptoms upon withdrawal or abstinence.”
This article discusses the DSM-5-TR criteria for substance use disorders and how these conditions are diagnosed:
Clip on understanding stigma linked to addiction and mental health challenges:
To make a difference, join SAFE Project’s No Shame Movement.
Week of December 26, 2022
Consuming a lot of alcohol in really short periods of time — called “binge drinking” — is very dangerous. Youth tend to binge drink at rates as high as 90%. Know the risks and get the facts.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is an organization that offers support and advocacy for victims of drunk and drugged driving. MADD honors and remembers victims as individuals, not just as a statistic. They also offer problem solving education and resources.
Week of December 19, 2022
It is estimated that one in three traffic deaths in the United States involve a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Alcohol-impaired driving laws make it illegal to drive at or above a specified BAC of 0.05% or 0.08%, depending on the state.
The Interagency Coordinating Committee on The Prevention of Underage Drinking released a comprehensive plan in 2022 for preventing and reducing underage drinking.
Week of December 12, 2022
- The ABCs of BAC – “Understanding Blood Alcohol Concentration is important step to prevent impaired driving. A guide from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration”
- NIH: “What is drugged driving?”
Week of December 5, 2022
Impaired driving related accidents could happen to anyone!
(image source — https://ccdlaw.com/safety/impaired-crash-stats/)
Week of November 28, 2022
When it comes to vaping, cigarette smoking, and tobacco chewing, it is important to know the facts, to understand the deceiving marketing strategies, and to have appropriate resources. Equally important is knowing how to confidently talk with your teen about this subject. Check out this CDC and US Surgeon General tip sheet for parents that contains information on how to prepare for the talk, how to start the conversation, and how to keep the conversation going.
Week of November 21, 2022
Every day, the tobacco industry spends $25 million to market their products. These two articles include information on tactics and ploys that target youth, an underage population.
- “Tobacco Industry Marketing Tactics to Promote Smokeless Tobacco Use Among Male Youth in Rural Communities”
- “E-cigarette industry spends millions on discounts and sampling, practices that help recruit young users”
Week of November 14, 2022
The Great American Smokeout is Thursday, November 17. Quitting smoking (vaping, chewing) is an individual process that begins with a single day. The American Cancer Society has no-cost resources and information on programs and supports that will help guide you on your journey to quit.
Week of November 7, 2022
More than 2.5 million high and middle school students currently use e-cigarettes according to the 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey.
- FDA: Results from the Annual National Youth Tobacco Survey
- Truth Initiative: Resources and tips to help young people successfully quit vaping.
Week of October 30, 2022
SAFE Project invites you to prioritize prevention and keep the momentum of Red Ribbon Week throughout the entire year. Prevention is the most underutilized response to the addiction epidemic — everyone can play a role!
To help those engaged with the youth sector (parents, guardians, caretakers as well as schools and youth serving organizations), SAFE Project is happy to provide SAFE Solutions, a one-of-a-kind, online resource that consists of educational materials, innovative approaches, and researched best practices curated by national subject matter experts in addressing challenges pertaining to mental health and substance use disorders. Find solutions filtered by desired outcomes and/or on the continuum of care (prevention, early intervention, harm reduction, treatment, recovery, and systems).
Together, through collaboration of all impacted community sectors, we can work to ensure many great school years and promote wellness across the lifespan.
- SAFE Solutions
- National Academies Sciences, Engineering, Medicine: Family-Focused Interventions to Prevent Substance Use Disorder in Adolescents
Week of October 24, 2022
Check out these action-oriented Red Ribbon Week choice options and show your support of SAFE Project’s red ribbon slogan: Choose your path. Make SAFE choices.
- SAFE Project: Seven Ways to Engage with Red Ribbon Week
- Natural High: Red Ribbon Week Lessons Plans
- DEA: Red Ribbon
Week of October 17, 2022
Week of October 10, 2022
Week of October 3, 2022
In recognition of National Youth Substance Use Prevention Month and red ribbon week, SAFE Project has created a resource landing page on our website:
On this site, you can request a supply of SAFE Project-designed red ribbons or red ribbon week stickers inscribed with the message “Choose Youth Path. Make Safe Choices” for use at the local level in your community.
Week of September 26, 2022
During National Recovery Month, SAFE Project is honored to join the thousands of impacted individuals, young and old, as they come together to spread positive messages that behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, that and people can and do recover.
This week, we would like to bring your attention to the “Mobilize Recovery Across America 2022” national bus tour which started September 5 and will go through October 6. Visit the Mobilize Recovery website to check out the highlights of each unique visit and hear messages about the common mission of ending overdose, ending addiction, and inspiring solutions for recovery.
September 30 is International Recovery Day. To learn more and join the celebration, visit – https://internationalrecoveryday.org/registration/
Week of September 19, 2022
SAFE Project is proud to join agencies and organizations across the country in taking steps to raise awareness of recovery month. This week, we feature resources and upcoming events available through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):
- White House Proclamation on National Recovery Month 2022
- SAMHSA: Recovery Month Events
- SAMHSA: Recovery Month Social Media Shareables
- SAMHSA: Recovery and Recovery Support
- SAMHSA: Office of Behavioral Health Equity Recovery Month — Webinar (Thursday, September 22, 2022 @ 1:30 PM ET)
Week of September 12, 2022
It has been three decades since the initial National Recovery Month, an observance held every September in support of the nation’s strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and communities who make recovery in all its forms possible.
SAFE Project is a proud champion of those in recovery. We are pleased to provide these helpful resources that are available to those in recovery themselves and those helping individuals through their recovery journey.
- SAFE Project’s Recovery Month social media toolkit, resource landing page, and video message from Executive Director Brandee Izquierdo
Week of September 5, 2022
SAFE Project is honored to join the thousands of impacted individuals, young and old alike, as they come together during recovery month (September) to share inspiring messages of hope. To learn more about the history of recovery month as well as collaborative efforts across the country focused on the national theme: “Every Person. Every Family. Every Community”, visit:
The “Recovery & Resiliency with Real Students” recorded webinar is brought to you by the New England PTTC and SAMHSA Region 1:
Week of August 29, 2022
The success of each school year largely depends on a supportive and intentional collaboration between, student, family, educational facility, and faculty. With the diversity of concerns facing youth today, placing priority on mental health can lead to better outcomes. The most effective and sustainable approaches to improved mental health begins with understanding the needs of the individuals you seek to support.
The National Institute of Mental Health provides a list of warning signs, as well as brochures and other resources on mental health topics such as anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders, and more:
Week of August 22, 2022
As schools across America are opening their doors to the start of the 2022/23 school year, we encourage all to prioritize youth mental health.
The state of an individual’s mental health affects every aspect of their life, including how they think, feel, and act. For young people experiencing symptoms of mental health challenges, the earlier treatment is started, the more effective it can be. Early treatment can help prevent more severe conditions as the child moves into adulthood. Relevant and supportive research on the topic include:
- The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Children’s Hospital Association have declared a national emergency for children and adolescent mental health
- State of Mental Health in America report
- Surgeon General’s advisory on youth mental health, a crisis exasperated by the COVID-19 pandemic
Week of August 15, 2022
Beginning a new school year usually comes with some anxiety, but in today’s uncertain times students may need a lot more support, reassurance, and comfort before they’re ready to learn.
To help, SAFE Project is happy to announce our Back to School resource page. It contains tools specifically for those engaged with the youth sector (parents, guardians, and caretakers, as well as schools and youth-serving organizations). Having conversations about mental health and substance use can build resilience and support youth in making healthy safe choices now and across their lifespan.
Week of August 8, 2022
The range of emotion spans across the spectrum from super excited to super stressed. There are many preparations that need to take place before the homeroom bell rings. This school year, we at SAFE Project encourage you to add a child “Mental Health Checkup” to your list of back-to-school preparations.
To help those engaged with the youth sector (parents, guardians, caretakers, as well as schools and youth serving organizations), SAFE Project is happy to provide SAFE Solutions, a one-of-a-kind, online resource that consists of educational materials, innovative approaches, and researched best practices curated by national subject matter experts in addressing challenges pertaining to mental health and substance use disorders. Find Solutions filtered by desired outcomes and/or on the continuum of care (prevention, early intervention, harm reduction, treatment, recovery, and systems).
Together, through collaboration of all impacted community sectors, we can work to ensure many great school years and promote wellness across the lifespan.
Week of August 1, 2022:
One of the toughest issues for families and friends is how to navigate the systems that provide care and/or support — and it’s especially hard when they are in a crisis situation.
- Building Blocks: Create a Crisis Plan for Your Minor or Adult Child
A SAFE Project resource focused on how to plan or prepare for the unexpected. Not every adult or child will need crisis intervention services, treatment, or hospitalization, but we encourage parents and/or caregivers to have a plan in place and know their rights — as well as their child’s rights.
- No Shame Youth Education Program
A SAFE Project supplemental education program for youth and young adults. This no-cost program increases knowledge of the principles on the No Shame pledge and empowers youth as informed advocates, individuals who can confidently speak out against stigma and take a pro health stance in support of individual wellness.
The downloadable complimentary version is suited for:
- Youth and young adults
- Youth-serving organizations
- Parents, guardians, and caretakers of youth
- ANYONE interested in the topic
Week of July 25, 2022:
- NBC News: States that legalized marijuana now researching mental health risks of high-potency cannabis
“Products like wax and shatter can have THC levels up to 90 percent, and states like Washington and Colorado are looking at potency caps and product warnings.”
- NIH: Nurturing My Mental & Emotional Health
“Mental and emotional wellbeing is critical to overall health. By supporting teens in developing healthy coping skills, you can set them up for success in dealing with stress and challenging circumstances in the future. This activity helps promote mindfulness and teaches teens how to practice health-enhancing behaviors, which can support better management of stress and reduce the chances of exploring substance use as an alternative.”
Week of July 18, 2022:
- Community Catalyst: Youth Are the Key to a Better Adolescent Behavioral Health System
“Young people are speaking out about their experiences with mental illness and substance misuse, and many are eager to shape solutions to a growing crisis. Youth with lived experiences of mental illness and substance use challenges, including addiction, understand first-hand the limitations, inequities, and failures of the current system. This Mental Health Awareness Month, policymakers are actively working to address this issue, and it’s critical that youth with lived experience are meaningfully engaged.”
Week of July 11, 2022:
- SAMHSA: 988 and What it means for Families of People with Serious Mental Illness (Webinar Registration)
“988*, the new three-digit number for mental health and suicidal crises, will be available nationwide by July 16, 2022. Once live, 988 is poised to change the way communities respond to people in crisis, connecting individuals to trained crisis counselors that can provide de-escalation and mental health intervention services by phone. This new number holds lots of promise, but what does this change mean for families of people with serious mental illness?”
- CDC: Mental Health Surveillance Among Children — United States, 2013–2019
“Mental health encompasses a range of mental, emotional, social, and behavioral functioning and occurs along a continuum from good to poor. Previous research has documented that mental health among children and adolescents is associated with immediate and long-term physical health and chronic disease, health risk behaviors, social relationships, education, and employment.”
Week of July 4, 2022:
- SAMHSA: As Part of President Biden’s Mental Health Strategy, HHS Awards Nearly $105 Million to States and Territories to Strengthen Crisis Call Center Services in Advance of July Transition to 988
“The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through its Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is awarding nearly $105 million in grant funding, provided by the American Rescue Plan, to 54 states and territories in advance of the transition of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline from the current 10-digit number to the 988 three-digit dialing code in July.”
- SAMHSA: 988 Partner Toolkit
“SAMHSA recognizes the need for governments, states, territories, tribes, crisis centers, and partners to speak with one voice to ensure there is a clear understanding about what 988 is and how it will work. We encourage you to use these communication outreach materials and build upon them with your community coalitions to meet the needs of your specific audiences.”
Week of June 27, 2022:
- Prevention Technology Transfer Center (PTTC) Network: Pride Month 2022
“The PTTC Network joins with others in recognizing June as LGBTQIA+ Pride Month. Our network is committed to ensuring all our programs are equitable and inclusive. On this resources page, you’ll find links to Network events, products, and resources to achieve those goals and foster an environment of respect, support, and equality.”
- youth.gov: June is LGBT Pride Month
“Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) is celebrated annually in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots, and works to achieve equal justice and equal opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) Americans.”
- JUVJUST: OJJDP Celebrates LGBTQI+ Pride Month
“President Biden proclaimed June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI+) Pride Month.”
- Partnership to End Addiction: LGBTQ+, Family, & Substance Use
“As a parent or caregiver, showing your love, acceptance and support is essential to promoting your child’s well-being. This behavior can significantly decrease an LGBTQ+ teen’s likelihood of substance use and improve their mental health.”
Week of June 20, 2022:
- Partnership to End Addiction: Looking for LGBTQ-Friendly Treatment for Your Child? Here are 9 questions to ask.
“When a child has a health crisis with substance use or a combination of mental health and substance use problems, it can be frightening and stressful. You may be tempted to grab whatever resource is closest. However, taking a moment to ask questions and assess your options will help get your child into a program that’s right for them.”
- SAMHSA: LGBTQI+ Youth – Like All Americans, They Deserve Evidence-Based Care
“As a clinical psychologist, academician, and government leader, I have focused on ensuring that mental health care services and policies are culturally responsive, evidence-based and in the best interest of those receiving services. Providing timely, appropriate, and evidence-based treatment vastly improves outcomes and can help save our young people from suicide ideation and attempts. I want to share what we know works to best engage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning and Intersex (LGBTQI+) youth as well as the resources we have for them, their families, providers, community organizations, and government agencies.”
Week of June 13, 2022:
- SAMHSA: Pride Month Chat with Representative Ritchie Torres
Join SAMHSA, Thursday, June 16th, 11:30am ET in celebrating Pride Month with a virtual fireside chat with Representative Ritchie Torres. Rep. Torres is an openly gay man who has acknowledged his own struggles with mental health. This event is for any individual with an interest in LGBTQI+ behavioral health. Submit your question for Rep. Torres when you register at the link.
Substance Use and Mental Health LGBTQ+ Resources:
- The Trevor Project
- The Okra Project
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- LGBT Training Curricula for Behavioral Health and Primary Care Practitioners
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Week of June 6, 2022:
- June is Pride Month – The Trevor Project
Everyone’s story is different. The Trevor Project is working every day to help allies and educators understand the needs of LGBTQ young people.
Week of May 30, 2022:
- SAMHSA: National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2022: Peer Support for Youth and Families
“An event in honor of the National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2022, commemorating child and youth mental health and honoring youth and family peer support.” (YouTube)
- US Surgeon General: Youth Mental Health
“Far too many young people are struggling with their mental health and unable to get the support they need. We all have a role to play in supporting youth mental health and creating a world where young people thrive.” (PDF Advisory Download)
Week of May 23, 2022:
- CDC: Children’s Mental Health: Understanding an Ongoing Public Health Concern
A new report on children’s mental health used data from different sources to describe mental health and mental disorders in children during 2013–2019. Poor mental health among children continues to be a substantial public health concern. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety among children of all ages, and symptoms related to depression among adolescents, are the most common concerns.
- NIH: Nurture Your Resilience – Bouncing Back From Difficult Times
“Everyone goes through tough times in life. But many things can help you survive—and even thrive—during stressful periods. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Learning healthy ways to cope and how to draw from resources in your community can help you build resilience.”
Week of May 16, 2022:
- Mental Health America: “The State of Mental Health in America”
Over 2.5 million youth in the U.S. have severe depression, and multiracial youth are at greatest risk. 10.6% of youth in the U.S. have severe major depression (depression that severely affects functioning). The rate of severe depression was highest among youth who identified as more than one race, at 14.5% (more than one in every seven multiracial youth).
You can help end stigma and show your support of individuals experiencing mental health and substance use challenges by joining SAFE Project’s No Shame Movement. Access the No Shame pledge as well as the newly developed “No Shame Youth and Young Adult Supplemental Education Program” on our toolkit page.
Week of May 9, 2022:
- National Prevention Week (NPW) is a national public education platform bringing together communities and organizations to raise awareness about the importance of substance use prevention and positive mental health.
The 2022 NPW Daily Themes:
- May 9: Strengthening Community Resilience: Substance Misuse and Overdose Prevention
- May 10: Preventing Substance Use and Promoting Mental Health in Youth
- May 11: Preventing Suicide: Everyone Plays a Role
- May 12: The Talent Pipeline: Enhancing the Prevention Workforce
- May 13: Prevention is Everywhere: Highlighting Efforts Across Settings and Communities
- May 14: Celebrating Prevention Heroes
- May 10th is National Fentanyl Awareness Day
SAFE Project invites you to view and share informational videos developed in collaboration with youth members of the WV Prevention Empowerment Partnership.
Week of May 2, 2022:
- NIH: Mental Illness
Though many youth experience positive mental health, an estimated 49.5 percent of adolescents has had a mental health disorder at some point in their lives.
- SAFE Project: Does My Child or Teen Need Mental Health Support?
There is a role for everyone in supporting youth mental health.
Week of April 25, 2022:
- CDC: Alcohol Use and Your Health
“Drinking too much can harm your health. Excessive alcohol use led to more than 140,000 deaths and 3.6 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) each year in the United States from 2015 – 2019, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 26 years. Further, excessive drinking was responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years. The economic costs of excessive alcohol consumption in 2010 were estimated at $249 billion, or $2.05 a drink.”
- Very Well Health: Mixing ADHD and Alcohol May Increase Your Risk of Addiction
“Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that causes hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and difficulty paying attention. By some estimates, ADHD affects approximately 11% of children and 4% of adults. Adults with ADHD may occasionally enjoy an alcoholic beverage, but they should be very cautious.”
Week of April 18, 2022:
- SAMHSA: Alcohol Use Among Girls and Young Women (PDF)
“For at least the past two decades, data showed that boys and young men were more likely to drink than girls and young women. However, an unsettling trend has taken hold: Data now show that girls and young women, ages 12 to 20, are drinking more alcohol than their male counterparts.”
- SAMHSA: Facts on Underage Drinking (PDF)
“Alcohol continues to be the most widely used substance of abuse among American youth, and a higher proportion use alcohol than tobacco, marijuana, or other drugs.”
- SAMHSA: “Talk. They Hear You.”® Campaign
“SAMHSA’s national substance use prevention campaign helps parents and caregivers start talking with their children early about the dangers of alcohol and other drugs.”
- SAMHSA: Be Prepared to Have the Difficult Conversation (PDF)
“Before you allow your underage children to attend a party where you think alcohol may be available, take the opportunity to inform them of how alcohol and other substances—such as marijuana—can affect their bodies and minds.”
- SAMHSA: After High School – Talking With Your Young Adult About Underage Drinking (PDF)
“While they’re wrapping up high school studies and obligations, high school seniors make important decisions about the rest of their lives. Some choose to pursue a college degree immediately, and others may decide to join the workforce or military or delay college enrollment.”
Week of April 11, 2022:
- NIH Director’s Blog: Alcohol poses different challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic
“The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every family across the country and will likely have a long-lasting impact on public health and well-being. Alcohol misuse is already a public health concern in the United States, with dramatic increases in emergency department visits and alcohol-related deaths observed in recent years. Alcohol has the potential to further complicate the COVID-19 pandemic in multiple ways.”
- Boston University: Alcohol Consumption Has Spiked during the Pandemic. Could the Consequences Outlast the Coronavirus?
“BU researchers say the answer may be to make alcohol ‘less attractive, less affordable, and less available'”
- JAMA Network: Alcohol-Related Deaths During the COVID-19 Pandemic
“Research suggests that alcohol consumption and related harms increased during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Studies reported increases in drinking to cope with stress, transplants for alcohol-associated liver disease, and emergency department visits for alcohol withdrawal. We examined mortality data to assess whether alcohol-related deaths increased during the pandemic as well.”
Week of April 4, 2022:
- NIAAA Spectrum: Words Matter When Discussing Alcohol Issues: A New Stigma-Free Vocabulary for Better AUD Outcomes
“Word choice may seem out of place among the myriad factors that can influence outcomes for a complex condition like alcohol use disorder (AUD). In fact, the stigma created by the language that is used to describe alcohol problems can decrease many people’s willingness to seek help for alcohol problems. It also can affect how people with AUD are treated in all aspects of life”
- Raise awareness about alcohol-related harms and the importance of strong alcohol policies using memes,
- Encourage engagement from prevention and public health stakeholders to strategically educate and inform decision makers about effective alcohol policies by providing easy-to-personalize, templated opinion editorials, letters to legislators and proclamations, and
- Provide materials to raise awareness around weekly themes in observance of April as National Alcohol Awareness Month.
- Week 1: Harms to Others/Impaired Driving/Violence (April 1-3)
- Week 2: Increases in Alcohol-Related Emergency Room Visits (April 4-10)
- Week 3: Alcohol’s Role in The Opioid Epidemic (April 11-17)
- Week 4: Alcohol and Cancer (April 18-24)
- For more resources, visit the PTTC Network Alcohol Awareness Toolkit
- CNN: US drug overdose deaths reach another record high as deaths from fentanyl surge
“Annual drug overdose deaths have reached another record high in the United States as deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids surge to unprecedented levels.”
- More information about Fentanyl
- More information about the SAFE Treatment and Family Support Locator
- More information about Narcan
- Fentanyl Facts: Youth Voices (YouTube Video)
In recognition of National Drug and Alcohol Fact week (March 21-27, 2022), SAFE Project — in collaboration with youth from the West Virginia Prevention Empowerment Partnership — created a video production with facts about fentanyl. For more information about the dangers of fentanyl as well as prevention and treatment resources, check out this new resource page created by SAFE Project.
- SAFE Treatment and Family Support Locator
SAFE Project and Partnership to End Addiction launched the first-of-its-kind online SAFE Treatment and Family Support Locator. For every person navigating a substance use or mental health challenges or who identifies as being in recovery, there is often a parent, child, spouse, or caregiver who is right beside them in that journey. While there are reputable locators to find treatment and recovery resources, families and caregivers did not have access to reliable online support resources for themselves–until now.
- ABC News: Youth’s overdose death renews pleas for Narcan in schools
“The death of a 13-year-old student who apparently overdosed on fentanyl at his Connecticut school has drawn renewed pleas for schools to stock the opioid antidote naloxone, as well as for training of both staffers and children on how to recognize and respond to overdoses.”
- More Information About Narcan
- More Information About Fentanyl
- RAND.org: Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking
“The Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking, established under Section 7221 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, was charged with examining aspects of the synthetic opioid threat to the United States—specifically, with developing a consensus on a strategic approach to combating the illegal flow of synthetic opioids into the United States.”
- SAFE Project: Addiction & Mental Health Resources for the Black Community
Everyone’s journey to recovery is unique — but when it comes to treatment the Black community experiences more barriers to treatment than other groups. Attention to the addiction epidemic has focused primarily on White suburban and rural communities. Less attention has focused on Black communities which are similarly experiencing dramatic increases in opioid misuse and overdose deaths. In SAFE Project’s commitment to ensure that members of the Black community have access to recovery, prevention, and mental health resources, we have curated a list of recovery and mental health resources specifically for the Black community.
- NIH: Suicides by drug overdose increased among young people, elderly people, and Black women, despite overall downward trend
“A new study of intentional drug overdose deaths, or suicides by an overdose of a medication or drug, found an overall decline in recent years in the United States, but an increase in young people aged 15-24, older people aged 75-84, and non-Hispanic Black women.”
- Feb. 7-13, 2022 is Children’s Mental Health Week AND Children’s Author Week
This year, SAFE Project is highlighting both by featuring two books and their respective authors. These books are specifically written for children and themed on substance use and mental health, while endorsing open and meaningful conversations with kids. The books promote mental and emotional learning and resilience skill building that lead to safe choices in all stages of youth development.
- DrugFree.org: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Resilient Kids
“Working together with national leaders in youth development and children’s health, Partnership to End Addiction presents Raising Resilient Kids.”
- NaturalHigh.org: How Helping Kids Find Their Natural High Leads to Healthy Choices
“When it comes to harmful substances, adolescents are particularly at risk of making choices that can ruin their lives. Parents and educators have a keen opportunity to guide kids to find and organize their lives around healthy activities and expressions.”
- New York Times: More Young Kids Are Getting Sick From Cannabis Edibles
“As states legalize cannabis, a growing number of children are inadvertently consuming marijuana-infused foods.”
- GetSmartAboutDrugs.gov: Drug Paraphernalia – How Much Do You Really Know?
Check out the Get Smart About Drugs DEA resource for parents, educators, and caregivers to increase your knowledge about drug paraphernalia – a step that could save a life.
- Truth Initiative: New survey finds that more than half of young people consider quitting vaping in 2022
“With findings showing that over half of young e-cigarette users want to quit and many have tried, learn why it is more important than ever to promote resources and tools that will help young people successfully quit vaping.”
- United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) news release: “Emoji Drug Code Decoded”
“Criminal Drug Networks are killing Americans and they are using social media to deliver deadly doses of fentanyl”, DEA Administrator Anne Milgram.
- Short Takes with NIAAA
Short takes video series on the topic of alcohol: “What are alcohol induced black outs?”, “What is alcohol use disorder?”, “What is binge drinking?”, and “What is alcohol overdose?”
- Monitoring the future survey results:
“We have never seen such dramatic decreases in drug use among teens in just a one-year period,” National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow, M.D., said in a news release. “These data are unprecedented and highlight one unexpected potential consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused seismic shifts in the day-to-day lives of adolescents. Moving forward, it will be crucial to identify the pivotal elements of this past year that contributed to decreased drug use – whether related to drug availability, family involvement, differences in peer pressure, or other factors – and harness them to inform future prevention efforts.”
- New survey shows progress on curbing teen vaping, but e-cigarette use remains high as access to flavors, risk of nicotine addiction, and impact on youth mental health concerns grow
“The 2021 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey data released today show progress in the fight to curb youth nicotine vaping, signaling efforts to provide education to prevent e-cigarette use and quitting resources are starting to work.”
- National Institute on Drug Abuse: Nurturing My Mental & Emotional Health
“Mental and emotional wellbeing is critical to overall health. By supporting teens in developing healthy coping skills, you can set them up for success in dealing with stress and challenging circumstances in the future.”
- SAMHSA: Listen to Yourself for Signs of Mental and Substance Use Disorders (Video)
“As a young adult, your mental health or substance use may worry you but asking for help should not.”
- DrugFree.org: Ridesharing Services May Reduce Number of Alcohol-Involved Crashes
“A new study finds more ridesharing trips with services such as Uber or Lyft may result in fewer alcohol-involved crashes.”
- JustThinkTwice.gov: Getting High and Driving
“Drugged driving is driving under the influence of alcohol, over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs, or illegal drugs.”
- USA Today: Drug overdoses surged amid COVID lockdowns
“More than 100,000 Americans died of drug overdoses during the 12 months following the COVID-19 lockdowns, the most overdose deaths ever recorded in a one-year span, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
- SAMHSA Advisory: Prescription Stimulant Misuse Among Youth and Young Adults
“This Advisory reviews the evidence on prescription stimulant misuse among youth and young adults. It establishes prescription stimulant misuse as a public health problem, identifies associated risk and protective factors, and provides programs and action steps for stakeholders to prevent misuse.”
- SAMHSA releases 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health
“The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released findings from the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The data suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on the nation’s well-being. Americans responding to the NSDUH survey reported that the coronavirus outbreak adversely impacted their mental health, including by exacerbating use of alcohol or drugs among people who had used drugs in the past year.”
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network Releases Fact Sheet: TRAUMA-INFORMED SCHOOL STRATEGIES DURING COVID-19
“This fact sheet offers information on the physical and emotional well-being of staff, creating a trauma-informed learning environment, identifying and assessing traumatic stress, addressing and treating traumatic stress, trauma education and awareness, partnerships with students and families, cultural responsiveness, emergency management and crisis response, and school discipline policies and practices.”
- White House Releases Fact Sheet: IMPROVING ACCESS AND CARE FOR YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE USE CONDITIONS
“Even before the pandemic, demand for mental health and substance use services was increasing, especially for our nation’s young people. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made the situation more challenging, subjecting many young Americans to social isolation, loss of routines, and traumatic grief.”
To raise awareness about alcohol-related harms and the importance of alcohol policy safeguards, the Northwest Prevention Technology Transfer Center (PTTC) has launched the Alcohol Awareness Toolkit #ProoflsInTheNumbers. The Alcohol Awareness Toolkit seeks to do the following during the month of April:
2022 Weekly Themes by PTTC
Week of March 28, 2022:
Choose knowledge and know the facts about the dangers of fentanyl for youth and young adults, and learn the steps you can take to save a life from a fentanyl overdose.
Week of March 21, 2022:
Week of March 14, 2022:
Week of March 7, 2022:
Week of February 28, 2022:
Week of February 21, 2022:
Week of February 14, 2022:
Week of February 7, 2022:
My Brother Is Not A Monster
Someone I Love Died from a Drug Overdose
Week of January 31, 2022:
Week of January 25, 2022:
Week of January 17, 2022:
Week of January 10, 2022:
Week of January 3, 2022:
Week of December 27, 2021:
Week of December 20, 2021:
Week of December 6, 2021:
Week of November 29, 2021:
Week of November 22, 2021:
Week of November 15, 2021:
Week of November 8, 2021:
Additional Resources & Assistance
For more information about SAFE Choices, contact
Senior Director Ronna Yablonski at: email@example.com
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