October raises awareness of substance abuse

October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, bringing attention to the issue of substance abuse and the year-long role substance abuse prevention plays on universal, targeted, and individual levels.

During the past month, an estimated 10 million Americans aged 12 to 20 reported drinking alcohol—that’s more than the people who live in the state of Michigan. Another 23 million Americans—roughly the population of Australia—are current illicit drug users according to the Betty Ford Center.

Seton Hill University (SHU) raises awareness about substance abuse through their Prevention Services, which informs individuals and the community of the detrimental effects of substance use and abuse by providing evidence-based, factual information and research. “It provides an opportunity to reflect on the lives affected and lost as a result of alcohol and drug use, as well as create a forum for decreasing these unfortunate statistics,” said Alyssa Iannamorelli-Eddy, the coordinator of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Services at Seton Hill University (SHU).

“I highly encourage college students to examine their risky behaviors, particularly alcohol and drug use, to better understand how their choices affect their physical and emotional wellness, their safety, academic status, relationships and social experiences,” said Iannamorelli-Eddy.

Heavy drinking affects the brain, heart, liver, and can cause serious harm to the body—including cancer. In addition, almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Although some students believe most college students drink, this is not accurate. A large portion of the SHU community chooses to live substance-free and report feeling very fulfilled with this choice,” said Iannamorelli-Eddy. “It is important for students to become informed about substance use, possible consequences, and to know that they can engage socially without use of drugs or alcohol.”

For more information and healthy messages, LIKE Prevention Services of Seton Hill University on Facebook!


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