PATERSON , NJ – The Paterson Coalition Against Substance Abuse joined forces with JFK High School to get youth involved in increasing awareness to substance misuse and risky behaviors as part of National Prevention Week, a national prevention effort held each year during the third week of May—near the start of summer, an important time for school, communities, and educators to re-focus on prevention! Adolescents and full-time college students 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 and NSDUH data on full-time college students.
Reducing substance abuse is critical to securing a healthy future for Paterson’s youth. Surveys conducted with high school students found that 1 in 4 Paterson youth drank alcohol in the past 30 days and 40% of youth did not think alcohol was a risk. Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States. “The misperception that alcohol is not a risk is alarming, as underage drinking threatens opportunity and success in far too many of our kids. Prevention programs work best when parents, students, schools, law enforcement officials, and communities join together to fight back. We are thankful for the support of Oasis in getting the message out,” said Dr. Robert Reid, P-CASA director.
P-CASA asks everyone in Paterson to take part in NPW. This year’s theme reminds us that simple, daily acts of prevention, such as helping a friend make positive choices or supporting a family member in need, can lead to healthier lives for each of us today, and stronger, happier communities tomorrow.
The Paterson Coalition Against Substance Abuse (P-CASA) is community partnership of the Department of Family and Child Studies at Montclair State Universities College of Education and Human Services. P-CASA works with the community of Paterson’s 1st Ward to empower its members to build a safe, healthy, and drug-free environment. Learn more about P-CASA by visiting p-casa.org and about Montclair State University at http://www.montclair.edu/cehs/