06 October 2023- The Franklin County Commissioners have proclaimed October 2023 to be National Substance Use Prevention Month in Franklin County. In doing so, the commissioners are urging residents and community leaders to do their part to increase their knowledge of substance use and how preventative strategies are essential to reducing the misuse of drugs and alcohol.
Millions of Americans are affected by substance misuse, which includes underage drinking, alcohol dependency, non-medical use of prescription drugs, abuse of over-the-counter medications and illicit drug use. Locally, partners like Franklin/Fulton Drug and Alcohol and Healthy Communities Partnership are working to combat substance use in Franklin County through evidence-based education programming and information dissemination. So far in 2023, Franklin/Fulton Drug and Alcohol has distributed over 1,500 doses of Naloxone, an uptick from past years. Staff has also provided more than 330 medication lock boxes to local partners for distribution throughout the community.
Discouraging adolescents from using drugs and alcohol is also a key component to National Substance Use Prevention Month. According to the 2021 Pennsylvania Youth Survey of students in sixth, eighth, 10th and 12th grades, 30.7% of Franklin County survey participants had used alcohol at some point in their lifetimes and 9.2% reported using marijuana. The survey also revealed that 11.2% of respondents had vaped in the past 30 days, and 30.8% of those individuals were unsure of what they were vaping.
“Franklin County is committed to helping our residents live happy, healthy lives,” said Franklin County Commissioner Chairman Dave Keller. “It’s important that all of us work together in our prevention and education efforts to help eliminate substance use and ensure those in recovery receive the supportive services they need. It’s also critical that we as a community provide a unified effort to remove the demand for drugs, for the sake of all our residents but especially for Franklin County’s youth.”
By recognizing National Substance Use Prevention Month, the commissioners are encouraging Franklin County residents to participate in prevention efforts to increase their understanding of substance use. One such effort is the Keep an Eye Out program, hosted by Healthy Communities Partnership’s Chambersburg Cares Coalition. Keep an Eye Out is an interactive activity that depicts a teenager’s bedroom so parents and caregivers can learn how to recognize the signs of potential drug and alcohol use. The mock bedroom is on display at Coyle Free Library, Chambersburg, and is available for interactive visits on Oct. 6 and Oct. 9.
For more information on available services through the Franklin/Fulton Drug and Alcohol Department, call 717-263-1256 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Information is also available online at www.franklincountypa.gov.
Individuals seeking immediate help for themselves or for someone they know should call PA Get Help Now at 800-662-4357. For prevention resources, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs website, www.ddap.pa.gov.