Drug Free Coalition will step up efforts during prevention week

Posted 11 May 2015 at 12:00 am

Press Release, Orleans United Drug Free Communities Coalition

Increasing public awareness of substance abuse and mental health issues are at the forefront of National Prevention Week.

The awareness week is held each year in May, near the start of summer, when families try to fit in as many celebrations and recreational activities as possible. It’s also a time when substance use and abuse can happen, such as graduation parties, proms, weddings, sporting events, and outdoor activities.

The percentages of marijuana, cigarette, and alcohol initiates among youth increase between spring and summer, and the timing of National Prevention Week helps to educate young people and their families at this crucial time of year. Each of us can make a difference in our community, starting with the choices we make every day. These choices are important for our health and our future, and they also affect the lives of people in our community.

Orleans United Drug Free Communities Coalition was selected by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to receive a $500 stipend to support a National Prevention Week event from May 11-16.

Pat Crowley, project director for the coalition, noted that each day they have selected a suggested health topic that will be highlighted in the lobby at Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism & Substance Abuse (GCASA) at 249 East Ave., Albion.

“We will have information available on the prevention of tobacco use, underage drinking and alcohol abuse, opioid and prescription drug abuse, illicit drug use, prevention of suicide as well as promotion of mental health and wellness,” she said.

GCASA will finish off the week with a Free Wellness Walk/Run beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday in the community room at GCASA’s Albion office. The Albion Running Club and Orleans United are co-sponsoring the Wellness Walk/Run.

The first 40 people to register on the event day receive a free T-shirt and everyone that registers and participates will have a chance to win an Apple I-Pod. Contact Pat Crowley for more information at pcrowley@gcasa.org or call 585-331-8732. Join us in spreading the message that prevention works.