ROSELLE, NJ - This week Roselle Everett Hatcher Prevention Coalition is celebrating National Prevention Week (NPW). The coalition encourages the community to be the champion of someone’s life. 

“We want to make sure everyone in Roselle knows about the National Prevention Week,” said Hellen Quesada, Program Co-ordinator for the Roselle Everett Hatcher Prevention Coalition. “Research suggests that one of the most important factors in healthy child development is a strong, open relationship with a parent. This is why It is important for us to encourage you to start talking to your children about alcohol and other drugs before they are exposed to them.

“Talk. They Hear You” is an application that you can download to help you start the conversation. We as parents are responsible to keep our kids safe and healthy. Make sure you talk to them today,” Quesada added. 

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NPW is hosted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and is an annual national health observance focused on increasing the prevention of substance use and the promotion of mental health.

The 2019 daily themes are:

Monday, May 13: Preventing Prescription and Opioid Drug Misuse

GET THE FACTS OPIOIDS AFFECT YOUR BRAIN. Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and many others.

1. They affect both the spinal cord and brain to reduce the intensity of pain-signal perception as well as brain areas that control emotion.

2. They can also affect the brain to cause euphoria or “high”.

3. OPIOIDS AFFECT YOUR BODY. Opioids slow down the actions of the body, such as breathing and heartbeat. Even a single dose of an opioid can cause severe respiratory depression (slowing or stopping of breathing), which can be fatal; taking opioids with alcohol or sedatives increases this risk.

4. OPIOIDS ARE ADDICTIVE. Even though heroin is highly addictive, more people struggle with addiction to prescription pain relievers.

5. Many young people who inject heroin report misuse of prescription opioids before starting to use heroin.

6. OPIOIDS CAN KILL YOU. Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, with 68,690 drug overdose deaths between March 2017 and March 2018.

7. More than 46,000 of those deaths involved opioids.

8. OPIOID ADDICTION IS TREATABLE. Methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are medications that are FDA-approved to treat opioid use disorder. For more information,

Tuesday, May 14: Preventing Underage Drinking and Alcohol Misuse

You probably see and hear a lot about alcohol—from TV, movies, music, social media, and your friends, but what are the real facts? Here are some common myths and facts about alcohol use.

MYTH; All of the other kids drink alcohol. You need to drink to fit in.

FACT; Don’t believe the hype: Youngest people don’t drink alcohol! Research shows that almost 80 percent of 12- to 20-year-olds haven’t had a drink in the past month.

MYTH; Drinking alcohol will make people like you.

FACT; There’s nothing likable about stumbling around, passing out, or puking on yourself. Drinking alcohol can also make your breath smell bad and cause you to gain weight.

MYTH; Drinking is a good way to loosen up at parties.FACT; Drinking is a dumb way to loosen up. It can make you act foolish, say things you shouldn’t say, and do things you wouldn’t normally do. In fact, drinking can increase the likelihood of fights and sexual assaults.

MYTH; Alcohol isn’t as harmful as other drugs.

FACT; Your brain doesn’t stop growing until about age 25, and drinking can affect how it develops. Plus, alcohol increases your risk for many diseases, such as cancer. It can also cause you to have accidents and get injured, sending you to the emergency room.

Wednesday, May 15: Preventing Illicit Drug Use and Youth Marijuana Use

MARIJUANA AFFECTS YOUR BRAIN. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects, affects brain cells throughout the brain, including cells in circuits related to learning and memory, coordination, and addiction.

1. MARIJUANA AFFECTS YOUR SELF-CONTROL. Marijuana can seriously affect your sense of time and your coordination, impacting things like driving. MARIJUANA AFFECTS YOUR LUNGS. Marijuana smoke deposits four times more tar in the lungs and contains 50 percent to 70 percent more cancer-causing substances than tobacco smoke does.

2. MARIJUANA USE IS NEGATIVELY LINKED WITH OTHER ASPECTS OF YOUR HEALTH. Chronic marijuana use has been linked with depression, anxiety, and an increased risk of schizophrenia in some cases.

3. MARIJUANA IS NOT ALWAYS WHAT IT SEEMS. Marijuana can be laced with substances without your knowledge. GET THE FACTS! 

4. “Blunts” - hollowed-out cigars filled with marijuana—sometimes contain crack cocaine. MARIJUANA CAN BE ADDICTIVE. Not everyone who uses marijuana becomes addicted, but some users develop signs of dependence.

For more information, go to https://store.samhsa.gov/series/tips-teens or go to the Roselle Everett Hatcher Prevention Coalition site at http://roselleeveretthatcher.org/

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