FREEPORT, ILLINOIS — May 10 – 16 is National Prevention Week, observed each year by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and FHN. The FHN Family Counseling Center, with the help of the Illinois Department of Human Services, works with area schools to share multiple prevention messages with students, from avoiding underage drinking to avoiding tobacco use and preventing suicide. This year, with schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the observance is going online.
Each day next week, students – and parents – are encouraged to show their school spirit and share a photo on social media for the day’s theme, hashtagged #NPW2020. Parents are encouraged to make “dressing up” each day a chance to talk about the day’s topic. Information on all of the days’ topics is available at www.fhn.org/NPW2020.
Monday, May 11: Preventing Prescription Drug and Opioid Misuse: Athletes vs. Mathletes – dress up as an athlete or a nerd
Tuesday, May 12: Preventing Underage Drinking and Alcohol Misuse: Tourist Tuesday – dress up as a tourist
Wednesday, May 13: Preventing Illicit Drug Use and Youth Marijuana Use: Twin Day/Opposite Day – ask a family member or grab your pet, get creative and dress up looking like twins or opposites of each other
Thursday, May 14: Preventing Youth Tobacco Use (including e-cigarettes and vaping): Hero vs. Villain – dress up as your favorite hero or villain
Friday, May 15: Preventing Suicide: Class Colors – wear your school colors and show your school spirit
National Prevention Week is held each year during the third week of May—near the start of summer, an important time for school, communities, and prevention professionals to re-focus on prevention.
Adolescents most often use substances for the first time during June or July, according to SAMHSA National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data on adolescents – 2012. The timing of National Prevention Week provides an opportunity for schools and organizations to host prevention-themed events before the school year ends, raising awareness about this important issue among students and their families.
“The end of the school year is traditionally a time of social transitions, from moving to a higher grade and maybe a different school to prom and graduation for older students,” said FHN Family Counseling Center Prevention Specialist Joanne Muzzey. “That change is a risk factor for youth substance use, and an opportunity to develop or strengthen the community, school, and family bonds that protect young people from substance use.”
FHN, a not-for-profit organization with nearly 1,200 employees, is an award-winning regional healthcare system committed to the health and well-being of the people of northwest Illinois and southern Wisconsin. FHN Memorial Hospital has been recognized as one of the state’s top hospitals for safety by the Leapfrog group and Healthgrades as well as by the world’s largest, completely independent, non-profit product- and service-testing organization. FHN caregivers serve an average of 1,500 people each day across FHN’s 19 locations in 5 counties spanning northwest Illinois. Organized in 1995 as an integrated healthcare delivery system, FHN is comprised of FHN Memorial Hospital, the Leonard C. Ferguson Cancer Center at FHN Memorial Hospital, 13 family healthcare centers offering primary and specialty medical care, hospice, and outpatient mental health services. For more information about FHN, please visit www.fhn.org.