National Prevention Month 2020: Addressing Addiction During a Pandemic

Published: October 14, 2020

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Kipu Health reported that the number of opioid overdoses in large cities has risen by 54% in 16 states since the start of the pandemic. With October being National Prevention Month, it is more important than ever to bring awareness to substance use disorders. Bridgewell’s prevention programs focus on getting in front of substance use disorders and intervening before recovery is necessary. Our prevention staff works to educate and inform the community about proven methods to stop substance use in its tracks.

More than 90% of individuals who have an addiction start to drink alcohol or use drugs before the age of 18. Bridgewell’s prevention strategies focus on targeting and addressing the root causes of substance use. Through early intervention of high-risk behaviors, we can reduce the consequences of addiction before they take place. Bridgewell’s Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success is a three-year grant funded by the Department of Public Health. This program is designed to prevent prescription drug misuse and abuse among high school aged youth. The Breed School All Stars Program, funded through the District Attorney’s Office, uses Bridgewell’s clinical support to help middle school students develop the skills to avoid self-destructive behaviors early in life.

Our Driver Alcohol Education Program is a 16-week program for first time DUI offenders. Bridgewell’s prevention staff provide the informational tools needed to help individuals struggling with alcohol abuse. We aim to influence and change behavior to encourage positive decision making.

Our prevention programs are also focused on continuing the success and wellbeing of the individuals within our community. Bridgewell’s Massachusetts Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative uses community engagement and education to prevent and reduce fatal and non-fatal opioid overdoses.

Although the pandemic has created additional challenges for individuals at high risk for substance abuse, our staff has continued to provide unwavering support for the North Shore community. Learn more about how to get involved with our prevention programs here.