In 2011, President Obama issues the first Presidential Proclamation designating October as National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. The tradition continues in 2015 as communities across the nation encourage prevention efforts in promoting a healthier, safer, drug-free America.

Millions of Americans are suffering from substance abuse, disrupting families, schools and communities. It limits the success of individuals and affects all aspects of our communities. Every day, someone makes the decision to try drugs or alcohol for the first time. This decision has a great impact on their well being.

  • In 2014, an estimated 27 million Americans aged 12 or older were current illicit drug users
  • 1 in 10 individuals aged 12 or older in the US used illicit drugs in the past month
  • In 2014, out of the 139.7 million people aged 12 or older who drank alcohol, 60.9 million were binge alcohol users and 16.3 million were heavy alcohol users
  • More than one third of young adults in 2014 were binge alcohol users

An effective way to help people lead healthier lives is to focus on prevention strategies. Prevention is powerful and recent research has shown that each dollar invested in substance use prevention programs has the potential to reduce up to $18 in costs related to substance use disorders.

Substance abuse affects everyone, and we all can join in on helping the next generation make smart choices. As community members and as a Nation, it is upon us to engage in activities and programs that promote healthy lifestyles all around us. National Substance Abuse Prevention month recognizes those who work to prevent substance use in communities all across the nation. By educating people about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, we can help set young Americans on a path toward a brighter, healthier and safer future.