Pumpkin spice, autumn leaves and football fever fill the month of October for many people. For us at New Season Treatment Center — and many healthcare providers and policymakers around the globe helping patients facing substance abuse — October stands for so much more. 

October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, an initiative first launched in 2011 to foster healthy individuals and safe communities by reducing drug use and its consequences. 

“Every day, many Americans are hurt by alcohol and drug use. From diminished achievement in our schools to greater risks on our roads and in our communities, to the heartache of lives cut tragically short, the consequences of substance use are profound. Yet, we also know that they are preventable,” the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) issued in a statement

“This month, we pay tribute to those working to prevent substance use in our communities and rededicate ourselves to building a safer, drug-free America,” the statement also read.

More than 80 New Season Treatment Centers across the nation are celebrating National Substance Abuse Prevention Month in a variety of ways, to include inspirational bulletin boards, goodies and gatherings. Perhaps most noteworthy, however, New Season prevents substance abuse not only this month, but every single month. 

“It’s incredibly important to understand that every day, every patient we treat, we have just saved a life because the alternative to treatment is to continue to use and the danger in continuing to use is getting worse and worse every day,” New Season CEO Jim Shaheen said.

While sipping a pumpkin latte or cheering on a favorite football team this month, carve out some time to remember all the people who are battling substance abuse disorder. 

“People with substance abuse disorder, as well as the chronically mentally ill, die 25 years earlier than the general population. The biggest reason, aside from overdose, is the lack of identifying other medical issues that are going on with these patients,” Shaheen acknowledged.

“A lot of times these patients are dismissed. They aren’t listened to, or simply treated differently due to the stigma often associated with treatment. We’ve got to reduce the stigma.”

“People need to have permission to ask for help when they need help, and we will be here for them when they do,” Shaheen vowed.

If you or a loved one are facing opioid use disorder, we’re standing by to help. Call us any day, anytime at 1-877-284-7074 to take the first step in recovery and set up your intake appointment. You can also complete the confidential Get Help Now form on our website.