October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month

The Lisa Michelle Memorial Fund was established to assist students who have lost parent to substance abuse. Our existence is based on a tragedy that can be prevented by more education, training, resources and awareness throughout society.

We want to do our part to bring awareness to addiction by providing information throughout the year which includes National Substance Abuse Prevention Month.

“October was first declared as National Substance Abuse Prevention Month in 2011. Since then, October has been a time to highlight the vital role of substance abuse prevention in both individual and community health has, to remember those who have lost their lives to substance abuse, to acknowledge those in recovery, as well as children, parents, family, and friends supporting them. Studies show that the earlier an individual starts smoking, drinking or using other drugs, the greater the likelihood of developing addiction. 9 out of 10 people who abuse or are addicted to nicotine, alcohol or other drugs began using these substances before they were 18. People who began using addictive substances before age 15 are nearly 7 times likelier to develop a substance problem than those who delay first use until age 21 or older. Every year that substance use is delayed during the period of adolescent brain development, the risk of addiction and substance abuse decrease. “ (NCTSN Website)

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network also provided information on the links between a traumatic event in an adolescence’s life with substance abuse. This information was really important for our organization to share because it’s the sexual abuse in Lisa’s early years that was a contributing factor to her addiction. This undoubtedly would be considered a traumatic event.

According to the NCTSN fact sheet, “teens who had experienced physical or sexual abuse/assault were three times more likely to report past or current substance abuse than those without a history of trauma.”