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Ada Mayor Randy McFarlin signed a proclamation on May 8 to proclaim May 7-13 National Prevention Week in Ada, Oklahoma. The designation was in coordination with Oklahoma Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services through the Higher Education Prevention Services Opioid & Stimulant Prevention Grant at East Central University.

The focus of National Prevention Week is to change the prevention landscape by providing evidence-based and accessible resources to facilitate collective action and story-sharing. By showcasing the work of partners in prevention, organizations can confront the societal challenges surrounding substance misuse together while celebrating stories of prevention.

Substance misuse and mental health problems affect all communities nationwide. According to the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 61.2 million Americans age 12 and older used illicit drugs in the past year. Nearly six million young people (age 12 to 20) reported drinking alcohol in the past month. Twenty-two percent of Americans (74 million people) age 12 and older used tobacco products or used e-cigarette or other vaping device to vape nicotine in the past month. Additionally, in 2021, 8.7 million Americans misused prescription pain relievers.

With commitment and support, these and other substance use and mental health issues can be prevented. By recognizing the seriousness of substance use and mental health issues in communities, the power of prevention, the tireless efforts

make a difference. The small, daily actions done by individuals, combined with the actions of families, communities, and coalitions, come together to make up the larger, bold movement of prevention.

For more information, contact Genan Westmoland at 580-559-5990 or, grant coordinator for the Campus Opioid & Stimulant Prevention Program at the Brandon Whitten Institute for Addiction and Recovery at ECU.

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