9.29.22 – What is Prevention?

Hi, I’m Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman, the Health Officer for Anne Arundel County. Welcome to our Weekly Health Update. September is National Recovery Month. It’s a time to celebrate individuals in recovery from substance abuse and offer hope to those who are struggling with it. Today let’s talk about prevention and how we can reduce the impact of substance abuse. 

What is prevention?

Prevention addresses the root causes behind drug use so that we can stop addiction before it starts. Prevention activities support individuals and communities through education and resources so that they have the tools to prevent the use and misuse of drugs and the development of substance use disorders.

Why is prevention so important?

Substance misuse can lead to dependence or addiction which can damage people’s lives and families. It can also lead to serious health problems, beyond just the risk of addiction. In the short-term, substance misuse can cause heart attacks, strokes, psychosis, overdose, or death. It can also cause long term issues like mental health problems, heart disease, cancer, or HIV. 

What prevention programs are available in Anne Arundel County? 

Prevention takes different forms, from universal prevention messages that we all need to hear, to specific messages and activities for people at risk and impacted by substance use disorders.

Anne Arundel County has four Prevention Coalitions: in north county, west county, Annapolis and south county. Our prevention coalitions work with their communities to promote public health, public safety, and wellness. They mobilize community members to take an active stand in preventing underage drinking and substance misuse.

To learn more about substance misuse prevention and the prevention coalitions, visit our website at aahealth.org.

Remember, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover. Stay safe and be kind to yourself and others. We’ll see you next week.

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