National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week 2024 – Empowering youth, building partnerships

    Mark your calendars for March 18–24, 2024, because it’s time for National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW), an annual event designed to spark conversations about the science of drug use and addiction among youth. This crucial observance brings together scientists, students, educators, healthcare providers, and community partners to address youth drug and alcohol use both locally and nationwide.

    One remarkable partnership in this effort is between Fremont County Prevention Partnership and Injury Prevention Resources (IPR), two organizations dedicated to community well-being through education, advocacy, and resources.

    What is the Fremont County Prevention Partnership?
    Fremont County Prevention Partnership, alongside the Suicide Prevention Taskforce, is a community-driven initiative committed to providing resources, education, and advocacy for mental health and substance misuse prevention. They understand the importance of collaborative efforts in addressing the complex issues surrounding substance misuse and mental health challenges.

    Who is Injury Prevention Resources (IPR)?
    IPR stands as a unique agency with a multifaceted approach to community safety, particularly focusing on roadway safety issues. They work tirelessly on prevention, intervention, and upkeep relevant to roadway safety subjects and community safety. Their programs range from educating toddlers about child car seat safety to providing driving information for senior citizens, emphasizing the importance of community and roadway safety across all ages.

    “Drug and alcohol use becomes increasingly deadly when a person decides to get behind the wheel of a vehicle,” states Noel Cooper, IPR Executive Director. “In most cases, the decision to drive is when you become the greatest danger to other humans. We simply ask that each person make a choice not to endanger someone else with their actions.”

    Injury Prevention Resources and the Fremont County Prevention Program partner to enhance community health and safety with a primary focus on substance misuse and roadway safety education for local youth, families, and adults. Through this partnership, they focus on consistent media and educational efforts targeted within Fremont County and the Wind River Indian Reservation. Activities include in-person events showcasing the dangers connected with high-risk behavior as well as the rewards associated with making healthy and safe decisions. Radio, internet, and social media messaging promote safe and healthy choices and lifestyles.

    Collaborative efforts within the Fremont County DUI Task Force, School Districts, and Community Events ensure that life-saving information and demonstrations are a regular part of the lives of Fremont County residents. Partnering with a multitude of professionals within their areas of expertise allows for community stakeholders to be heard and residents to hear targeted messaging from various people and perspectives. All efforts combined work toward a positive quality of life and a reduction of serious injury and overall death in our communities.

    Empowering Youth through NDAFW
    National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week serves as a platform for Fremont County Prevention Partnership and IPR to amplify their message and engage with youth in meaningful ways. Through interactive activities, educational resources, and community engagement, they equip young people with the knowledge, skills, and support systems they need to make informed decisions and resist peer pressure related to drug and alcohol use.

    Get Involved
    During National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week and beyond, everyone has a role to play in promoting youth health and well-being. Whether you’re a parent, caregiver, educator, or community member, there are countless ways to get involved:

    • Explore activities like Nurturing My Mental & Emotional Health and Stressed Out to support students’ mental health and coping strategies.
    • Participate in educational quizzes and virtual reality experiences to deepen your understanding of drug use and its impact on the brain.
    • Start conversations using resources like frequently asked questions about drugs and health to empower young people with accurate information.
    • Focus on building coping skills and enhancing mental health literacy by using Sources of Strength which equips individuals with the tools to effectively manage stressors and navigate challenges without resorting to substance use.
    • Support the collaborative efforts of organizations like Fremont County Prevention Partnership and IPR by spreading awareness and advocating for community safety.

    As we mark National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week 2024, let’s recognize the importance of collaboration, education, and community engagement in addressing youth drug and alcohol use. Through partnerships like Fremont County Prevention Partnership and IPR, we can work together to build healthier, safer communities for all. Join us in empowering youth, fostering dialogue, and making a positive impact on the future generation.

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