Department of Human Services encourages communities to support local substance

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The North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Behavioral Health Division encourages communities statewide to support local substance abuse prevention activities in honor of Red Ribbon Week®, a national alcohol and drug prevention awareness campaign taking place Oct. 23-31. The Red Ribbon Campaign™ encourages parents, educators, business owners and other community organizations to take a visible stand against underage drinking and drug use in their communities.

“Red Ribbon Week® can be a part of a comprehensive substance abuse prevention approach,” said Laura Anderson, prevention administrator for the Behavioral Health Division. “Everyone can play a role in substance abuse prevention, and this week is a great time for communities to initiate conversations about local substance abuse prevention strategies that can create positive, long-term environmental change.”

Anderson said the division has a variety of resources available through the North Dakota Prevention, Resource and Media Center (PRMC) that can assist communities in supporting local substance abuse prevention efforts. Community coalitions can download or order free substance abuse prevention materials from the PRMC website at www.prevention.nd.gov/materials.

Schools can incorporate age-appropriate substance abuse prevention activities into already existing curricula by utilizing curriculum-weaving toolkits found at www.parentslead.org/professionals/redribbon. Parents can also play a role in prevention at home by role modeling healthy behaviors, monitoring and providing ongoing support. For more information, parents are encouraged to visit www.parentslead.org.

Anderson said the PRMC provides effective, innovative and culturally-appropriate substance abuse prevention strategies and resources to individuals and communities across the state. Parents Lead is an evidence-based underage drinking prevention program for parents, which uses statewide, web-based communication and outreach.

Communities interested in sharing information specific to Red Ribbon Week® can visit www.parentslead.org/professionals/redribbon.

For assistance implementing substance abuse prevention efforts, contact the prevention resource and media center at ndprmc@nd.gov.

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