Drug abuse has been a problem since the first drug was invented, which was opium that has a history dating back to B.C. However, over time, the number of drugs and the potency of them have increased and caused even more people to partake in drug usage. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 23.5 million people 12 years of age or older had a drug or alcohol problem in 2009.
Drug abuse is a growing problem, as deaths from heroin and other opiates have increased. Communities are realizing that these dangerous drugs are killing people including youths. People steal and murder just to obtain drugs, causing increasing crime rates. As a result, many towns are starting to combat the problem with special programs.
One prime example is in Orange County (OC). Although Sovereign Health provides rehab for alcoholics and drug addiction treatment for teens and adults, OC developed numerous organizations and programs including the Community Alliance Network (CAN) National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence in Orange County (NCADD – OC), which focuses on the prevention of underage drinking. Through mass media, the NCADD – OC staff educates and trains individuals to prevent alcoholism in teens and to raise awareness of the consequences of underage drinking.
The NCADD-OC’s Parenting Initiative works to elevate the amount of parental involvement children have, which will ultimately strengthen the community and reduce drug and alcohol use. Parenting Initiative runs mass campaigns, does community networking with other organizations and schools, and offers many resources for parents.
NCADD-OC also has RX for Prevention, which is dedicated to educating people about the dangers of prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse. This particular program focuses on adults, youth, community leaders and even health care professionals about the dangers of these drugs and how to dispose of them safely.
Substance Abuse Prevention and Control (SAPC) in Los Angeles County implemented a number of programs to try to prevent drug abuse and the need for long-term drug rehab. For instance, the Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act – Youth Substance Abuse was intended to prevent crimes like drug abuse. The Office of National Drug Control Policy’s (ONDCP’s) Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Program is pushing the issue of schools, parks and other public places enforcing rules about the no-drug policy. The group also reaches out to military personnel and their families since post-traumatic stress disorder patients are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. These individuals end up needing mental health programs that address their specific needs. If not, they end up needing dual diagnosis treatment or rehab for alcoholism, or just the assistance of a drug and alcohol treatment center such as Sovereign’s.