National Prevention Week takes place annually, and is dedicated to increasing public awareness of substance abuse and mental health issues. This year the event takes place May 14 -20. The three primary goals of National Prevention Week are: to involve communities in raising awareness of behavioral health issues and in implementing prevention strategies; to foster partnerships and collaboration with federal agencies and national organizations dedicated to behavioral and public health; and to promote and disseminate quality behavioral health resources and publications. This year, Prevention Week takes place from May 14 to May 20, 2017 and the overall theme is “Making Each Day Count”.
Dr. Barouh, LIAAC’s President/CEO, states that raising community awareness about the effects of heroin overdoses starts with first, educating the community about the connection between opioid prescription drug use/misuse, heroin addiction and mental illness; second, for those in need of help, provide the necessary referral linkages to treatment and other supportive services.
Currently, the United States has been within the grip of a devastating opioid abuse crisis, one from which Long Island is not immune. According to the New York State Comptroller’s 2016 report on prescription opioid abuse and heroin addiction, Suffolk County had the highest rate of heroine overdoses of all the counties in the state. It is important that we take this week as an opportunity to speak to young people about the dangers of abusing prescription and illicit drugs, such as bodily damage, infectious diseases, and even death.
The Long Island Association for AIDS Care will be celebrating National Prevention Week by offering free and confidential testing for HIV, Hepatitis C and sexually transmitted infections. The Long Island Association for AIDS Care will also be participating in National Prevention Week’s “I Choose” Project, a social media campaign aimed at sharing personal messages about the importance of prevention and mental health.
For more information about how the Long Island Association for AIDS Care is celebrating National Prevention Week, visit our events page at https://facebook.com/LIAAC.inc/events, visit our website at http://www.liaac.org/, or call our hotline at 1-877-865-4222