Every day, far too many Americans are hurt by alcohol and drug abuse. From diminished achievement in our schools, to greater risks on our roads and in our communities, to the heartache of lives cut tragically short, the consequences of substance abuse are profound. Yet, we also know that they are preventable. Last month, we paid tribute to all those working to prevent substance abuse in our communities, and rededicated ourselves to building a safer, drug-free America. Preventing drug use before it begins—particularly among young people—is the most cost-effective way to reduce drug use and its consequences.
In Van Buren County the SAFE Coalition and Youth Leadership Council (YLC) work with other groups in the county to help prevent substance abuse in our community. During the month of October the coalition and YLC members recognized National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, Medicine Abuse Awareness Month and National Above the Influence Day by holding several activities to encourage positive choices by youth and adults in Van Buren County.
These activities included a TAG IT activity that helped Van Buren Community High School students identify what they were above the influence of; Peer Teaching to help Van Buren Community Elementary students learn about the effects of substance abuse and choose to pledge to be substance abuse free; a Hall of Horrors event that helped Van Buren Community Middle/High School students understand the dangers of tobacco use; and a prescription drug take back day with the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Reserve to help remove expired and unused prescription medications from the community safely.