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The Importance of Prevention in Addressing the Opioid Crisis

As our communities, healthcare systems, and government agencies join in the effort to reverse the epidemic of opioid overdoses and solve the opioid crisis, it is not enough to focus all our resources on treating people who are already addicted to opioids. Keeping people who do not have an opioid use disorder from becoming addicted is an equally important task. […]

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What Factors Increase the Risk for Substance Use Disorders?

Although we know what happens to the brain when someone becomes addicted, we can’t predict how many times a person must use a substance before developing a Substance Use Disorder. A combination of factors related to your genes, environment, and your personal development increases the chance that taking substance will lead to addiction. […]

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How Common Are Substance Use Issues at the Same Time as Other Mental Illnesses?

Many people who have a substance use disorder also develop other mental illnesses, just as many people who are diagnosed with mental illness are often diagnosed with a substance use disorder. For example, about half of people who experience a mental illness will also experience a substance use disorder at some point in their lives and vice versa. […]

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Could Your Kids Be at Risk for Substance Use or Misuse?

Parents are often concerned that their children will start (or are already) using drugs such as tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and others—including the misuse of prescription drugs. Research supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) shows the important role that parents play in preventing drug use in their children. […]

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Substance Use in College-age Young Adults

This section features the most recent Monitoring the Future (MTF) national survey results on substance use in college-age adults ages 19 to 22, including patterns of marijuana and alcohol use, nicotine use, and nonmedical use of prescription drugs. It also covers newer trends, such as use of e-vaporizers and hookahs. In 2018, the survey identified statistics related to e-vaporizer use of nicotine and marijuana separately from other smoking forms. […]

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Naloxone Training

Naloxone is a medication used to reverse the effects of opioid overdose. Specifically, naloxone allows an overdose victim to breathe normally. It is not addictive and cannot be abused. Training on recognizing and responding to opioid overdose is recommended and available for first responders and community members. Contact overdose.prevention@odmhsas.org for more information on training. […]

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Know Your Child’s Friends

Childhood is a period of major growth and change. Youth tend to be uncertain about themselves and how they “fit in,” and at times they can feel overwhelmed by a need to please and impress their friends. These feelings can leave children open to peer pressure. Knowing your child’s friends and peers helps parents improve communication, reduce conflict, and teach responsibility. […]

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Encouragement is a Key Part of Prevention

Encouragement is key to building confidence and a strong sense of self and helps parents promote cooperation and reduce conflict. Many successful people remember the encouragement of a parent, teacher, or other adults. Consistent encouragement helps youth feel good about themselves and gives them the confidence to try new activities, tackle different tasks, explore creativity, and make new friends. […]

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Why is Early Childhood Important to Substance Use Prevention?

Abundant research in psychology, human development, and other fields has shown that events and circumstances early in peoples’ lives influence future decisions, life events, and life circumstances—or what is called the life course trajectory. People who use substances typically begin doing so during adolescence or young adulthood, but the ground may be prepared for substance use much earlier, by circumstances and events that affect the child during the first several years of life and even before birth. […]

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How Do We Get More Substance-using People Into Treatment?

Reducing the gap between people using substances and treatment opportunities requires a multipronged approach. Strategies include increasing access to effective treatment, achieving insurance parity, reducing stigma, and raising awareness among both patients and healthcare professionals of the value of substance use treatment. […]

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Principles of Substance Use Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations

Substance use is implicated in at least three types of drug-related offenses: (1) offenses defined by substance possession or sales, (2) offenses directly related to substance use (e.g., stealing to get money for substances), and (3) offenses related to a lifestyle that predisposes the individual to engage in illegal activity, for example, through association with other offenders or with illicit markets […]

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Lessons from Prevention Research

Prevention programs are generally designed for use in a particular setting, such as at home, at school, or within the community, but can be adapted for use in several settings. In addition, programs are also designed with the intended audience in mind: for everyone in the population, for those at greater risk, and for those already involved with substances or other problem behaviors. Some programs can be geared for more than one audience. […]

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