The way Substance Use Disorder Prevention should work is you get to decide your future at a young age…

Substance use/mental health disorders can have a powerful effect on the health of individuals, their families, and their communities. It is estimated that by 2020, mental and substance use disorders will surpass all physical diseases as a major cause of disability worldwide.

Preventing mental and/or substance use disorders and related problems in children, adolescents, and young-adults are critical to Americans’ behavioral and physical health. If communities and families can intervene early, behavioral health disorders might be prevented, or symptoms can be mitigated – SAMHSA

…which means, delaying drug/alcohol use significantly increases a young persons changes of not developing Substance Use Disorders each year they can delay.

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Despite being identified by youth as one of their primary sources of alcohol, hands down, parents are the most influential person or thing in a child’s decision not to drink at all or not to drink on occasion. Learn more
Oregon ranks #6 of the States with the biggest drug problem. Learn more
Adolescents, genetic vulnerability, and people with mental disorders are at greater risk of drug abuse and addiction than the general population. Genetic factors account for between 40 and 60 percent of a person’s vulnerability to addiction. Learn more
2 of every 3 Oregonians either struggle with a substance abuse disorder or have a family member or friend who does. Learn more
Oregon ranks 49th in the country for a higher prevalence of mental illness and lower rates of access to care. Learn more

Substance use disorder and many mental health concerns are insidious – they proceed in a gradual, subtle way, but with harmful effects many life-altering.  So in the same incremental way, it appears there is not a quick fix or solution to substance use/mental health disorders.

Substance use/mental health disorders aren’t an adult or youth problem it’s a human problem.  It’s complicated and important that communities come together to bring awareness and an understanding to what prevention, intervention, acute treatment needs, and aftercare/recovery could look like in communities where individuals and families feel safe to share their experiences and receive support.

Healing starts with prevention education and more often the focus needs to be on youth – Engage, Educate, & Empower.