On the other hand, there are many benefits of strong academic performance, including knowledge gained in class, competitive advantage for getting into college, and better job opportunities in the future. Youth who do well academically and have a sense of belonging in school are less likely to use substances.
In honor of National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, we urge you to do something to encourage a young person’s positive growth and development, directly or indirectly. For example, you might decide to hold a potluck with neighbors to share resources on how to talk with children about alcohol use and discuss how to support each other in doing so. Or, you may focus on building your family’s resilience by spending time with your kids, listening to them, and encouraging their interest in constructive activities and hobbies. (Start early—see SAMHSA’s Building Blocks for a Healthy Future for resources and materials to help children ages 3-6 make decisions, gain confidence, and improve self-esteem.)
You can also start thinking ahead to SAMHSA's National Prevention Week—May 17-23, 2015—a time when people across the country come together to make a positive difference in the health and well-being of their community.
No matter how you choose to take part, know that you’re contributing to a positive, nationwide effort—an effort that will continue after October 31st. Prevention efforts never end, and with good reason. With each generation comes the collective responsibility to keep young people out of harm’s way; to educate them about healthy choices; and to build their decision-making skills so that when they come to a fork in the road, they choose the path to a healthy, happy, and successful life.
This blog is also posted on ONDCP's Blog.