Pubdate: Tue, 18 Nov 2014
Source: Expositor, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2014 Brantford Expositor
Author: Fred Rinne
Page: 4


This is National Addictions Awareness Week. That itself marks 
progress in admitting there is a problem. It is up to all of us to 
help fight the battle.

For the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, preventing and reducing 
harms associated with substance use and abuse by youth is a priority.

"Youth 15 to 24 years of age have the highest self-reported past-year 
use of illicit substances compared to older Canadians, and are 
approximately five times more likely than adults aged 25 years and 
older to report harm because of drug use," says the Centre.

This year the key focus-especially among young people-is the 
so-called opiates of choice in that demographic: alcohol, cannabis 
and prescription medications. Also on the radar is how the use of 
these impacts behaviour, particularly impaired driving.

In addition to helping preserve health, initiatives in education have 
proved to save money.

Statistics show, according to the centre, that for every dollar spent 
on drug and alcohol abuse prevention initiatives, between $15 to $18 
is saved on the flip side.

With young people the target audience, the dialogue is increasingly 
turning to social media.

The centre is asking Canadians to join the dialogue to help create a 
healthier society, free of the harms of substance abuse, by following  and using the hashtag #NAAWCanada to help support this 
year's activities and to share relevant resources over social media 
channels. If you don't believe the dangers of addiction are real and 
dire, consider these stats:

The percentage of Canadians between the age of 15-24 who have 
experimented with drugs: 57%

Average age young people have their first adult beverage: 13.

Percentage of secondary school students who have admitted to binge 
drinking: 47%

Average age of kids who first smoke marijuana: 14.

It is likely that you or someone you know in your family or out has 
battled or does battle addiction.

This week, get the discussion started and show you care.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom