National Prevention Week: Why Your Work is Needed

Flash Stats on Needs and Risks

  • Cigarette smoking causes premature death: Life expectancy for smokers is at least 10 years shorter than for nonsmokers. If smoking cessation occurs before age 40, the risk of dying from smoking-related disease is reduced by 90%. Male smokers are 17 times more likely to risk dying from bronchitis and emphysema and more than 23 times more likely to risk dying from cancer of the trachea, lung and bronchus. Female smokers are 12 times more likely to risk dying from bronchitis and emphysema; and from cancer of the trachea, lung and bronchus by more than 12 times. 
  • Mortality risk for underage drinking: Drinking is a leading contributor to death due to injuries for people 21 years of age and younger. Approximately 5,000 persons under 21 years of age die each year due to causes related to underage drinking. This include 1,600 homicide and 300 suicides. 
  • Mortality due to opioid and prescription drug abuse: In the U.S, 44 people die each day from prescription painkiller overdose and may more become newly addicted. 
  • Youth illicit drug and marijuana use: Young adults who began using any addictive substance before age 15 are six and a half times more likely to develop a substance use disorder than those who delay use until age 21 (28.1% to 4.3%). 
  • Suicide prevalence: There are 41,149 deaths due to suicide with one death every 12.8 minutes. Emergency department visits for self-inflicted injury accounts for 836,000 visits. 

The 2015 National Prevention Week, which began on May 17 and ends on May 23, is an annual week-long public awareness event for the prevention of substance abuse and the support of mental health treatment and wellness. Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), it offers communities opportunities to dialogue, engage in public events, and re-confirm their commitment to being "The Voice of One, the Power of All." While statistics on risks and mortality can be overwhelming, they speak to the urgent need for prevention and the importance of organizations in direct service. It also draws the attention to the importance of making a commitment to break the silence and stigma that are barriers to care; because, as the numbers demonstrate, lives are lost each day. Every minute counts and every life matters.

Join the National Prevention Week, take the personal Prevention Pledge, check out where a Community Activity is happening in your area and post pictures of your commitment to action at I Choose.

For newly released opportunities for prevention and treatment service, see newly released RFPs.