National Substance Abuse Prevention" Month

Oct 28, 2022 at 08:23 am by WGNS

(MURFREESBORO) Murfreesboro's Child Advocacy Center notes that this month marks 11 years since President Obama first proclaimed October as National Substance Abuse Prevention. A statement by President Joe Biden on September 30 proclaimed October 2022 to be National Youth Substance Use Prevention Month. “Last year, a record 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses,” the President stated. “More than a thousand of those who died were teenagers — sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, and friends who still had their whole lives ahead of them.  We cannot let that continue.”

Since the first National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, the rates of Alcohol Use Disorder and Substance Abuse Disorder have decreased in all age groups. In 2015, 12.7 million individuals reported having a history of misuse of opioids. Two years later, the number significantly dropped to 11.4 million, which is just under 5% of the total U.S. population.


The National Child Traumatic Stress Network reports that 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 decreases.

Help Is At Murfreesboro's CAC

The Child Advocacy Center offers a program that helps families and children who are affected by drug exposure obtain crisis intervention services to improve their quality of life. The Drug Endangered Children Coordinators provide in-home services that include alcohol and drug education, crisis intervention counseling, relapse prevention, parenting skills, anger management, stress management, and referrals to community resources, such as AA, NA, Celebrate Recovery, and in-patient and out-patient alcohol and drug treatment.

Christina Moody with the Rutherford County Department of Children’s Services implores concerned family, friends, and neighbors to report suspected drug abuse. "If you know a child that is being exposed to their parent or grandparent's drug abuse, please report that family to the Department of Children's Services at 1-877-237-0004,” said Moody. “This is the first step to getting help for drug exposed children and their families."

"Department of Children's Services gives the Child Advocacy Center every drug endangered children referral each month,” said Drug Endangered Children Coordinator David Amaya Velasquez. “We call each family and offer crisis intervention services to help parents and grandparents with an addiction to stop using drugs and educate their children on how to cope with a family member with an addiction.”

Contact for Info

All services are provided free of charge in English and Spanish. The Center has three employees who provide services to drug endangered children and their families.  In Rutherford County, contact Conner Hutchins or David Amaya Velasquez at (615) 867-9000, or email them at or  In Cannon County, contact Amanda Hammond at (615) 563-9915 or email her at

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