SAMHSA’s National Prevention Week: Strong as One, Stronger Together
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Prevention Week occurs May 15-21, 2016. National Prevention Week is an annual observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues. The theme for this year is: “Strong as One. Stronger Together.” According to SAMHSA, there are three primary goals of National Prevention Week: to involve communities in raising awareness of behavioral health issues, to foster relationships with federal agencies and national organizations and to promote and distribute quality resources and publications regarding behavioral health.
This year, the daily themes of SAMHSA’s National Prevention Week are as follows:
• Monday, May 16: Prevention of Tobacco Use
• Tuesday, May 17: Prevention of Underage Drinking and Alcohol Misuse
• Wednesday, May 18: Prevention of Prescription and Opioid Drug Misuse
• Thursday, May 19: Prevention of Illicit Drug Use and Youth Marijuana Use
• Friday, May 20: Prevention of Suicide
• Saturday, May 21: Promotion of Mental Health and Wellness
Prevalence of Co-Occurring Mental Health Issues and Substance Abuse
Approximately 37% of individuals with alcoholism and 53% of individuals suffering from drug addictions have at least one serious mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. And according to SAMHSA, approximately 7.9 million adults in the United States had co-occurring disorders in 2014. More than 50% of those with a dual diagnosis did not receive any treatment to help them progress in their recovery. More men than women are diagnosed with co-occurring disorders, but the percentage of females living with a dual diagnosis has increased in recent years (SAMHSA). Of the almost 3 million adults employed and living with a dual diagnosis, only about 40% received any treatment for either disorder, and less than 5% received treatment for both issues.
Prevention of Substance Abuse and Mental Illness
Mental and substance use disorders have a powerful effect on the health of individuals, their families and their communities. These disorders are among the top conditions that lead to disability and result in significant costs to families, employers and publicly funded health systems.
Preventing mental and/or substance use disorders in children, adolescents and young adults is critical to Americans’ physical and behavioral health as a whole. People with a mental health disorder are more likely to use drugs and alcohol than those not suffering from a mental illness. Symptoms that signal the development of a behavioral disorder typically manifest two to four years before a disorder surfaces. If families and communities can intervene early, behavioral health disorders may be prevented altogether. Data shows that early intervention following the first episode of a serious mental illness can also make an impact.
“I’m Already Struggling, What Can I Do?”
If you are struggling with addiction and mental illness, help is available and recovery is possible. It is never “too late” to seek help for a mental or substance use disorder. Reaching out to a loved one and a behavioral health professional is the first step in preventing or recovering from mental health and/or substance use disorders. Professionals can help you receive the treatment you need to recover from both mental illness and addiction. They may suggest you attend an inpatient program, or they may recommend treatment in an outpatient setting. Regardless of how far along you are in your disorder, help is available.
Find Freedom from Mental Illness and Addiction
By being aware of the signs and symptoms of behavioral health disorders, we can help individuals receive the help they need before their struggles progress into full-blown mental health or substance use disorders.
If you are concerned that you or a loved one may be struggling with mental illness or substance abuse, reach out for help today. Call The Treatment Center at (877) 443-7342. We have compassionate and experienced admissions counselors prepared to answer any questions you may have on how we can help you or your loved one.