Florida Department of Health
Contact: Amber Teeters
October 21, 2020

October 23-31 is recognized by the Florida Department of Health in Nassau County as Red Ribbon Week. This week was created by the Red Ribbon Campaign, which is the largest drug prevention campaign in the United States. The goal of the week is to educate youth and encourage youth to live drug free. The theme for the 2020 Red Ribbon Week is “Be Happy, Be Brave, Be Drug Free”. The Red Ribbon Campaign states that their mission is to encourage children, families and communities to live healthy, happy and drug-free lives. It also serves as a reminder that we are all empowered with shaping the communities around us through positivity, bravery and strength.

In 2017, approximately 19.7 million Americans battled a substance use disorder according to the data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Substance use disorder can be defined as harmful use of any substance that results in dependence or impairment.

Understanding how common substance abuse is throughout the country is a key component of helping those who struggle with addiction. One way we can help those who struggle with substance abuse, is to help eliminate the stigma behind having an addiction and seeking mental health treatment. In order to help those who are with an addiction, it is extremely important to normalize having the ability to admit when help is needed.

Substance abuse prevention continues to be one of the top priorities for the Florida Department of Health in Nassau County regarding improving the overall health of the community. Substance abuse coincides with one’s mental health. Working with other community partners, the Department of Health works towards increasing access to mental health services for residents of the community as well as trying to increase the amount of mental health professionals within the county.

The County Response to Opioids/Substances Within Nassau (C.R.O.W.N.) program was designed by the Florida Department of Health in Nassau County to prevent and reduce substance and opioid use within Nassau County. This program serves the needs of children and young adult up to age 24 and women ages 12-49. C.R.O.W.N. seeks to provide necessary tools to assist individuals who are at risk of substance misuse/abuse or who are currently exposed to substance misuse/abuse.

Substance Abuse vs. Misuse
• Abuse: Nonmedical use of a substance of altering effect dependence or suicide attempt or gesture.
• Misuse: The use of illegal drugs and/or prescription drugs in a manner other than as directed or prescribed.
Who to Refer?
• Any school age child or young adult up to 24 who has been or may be exposed to substance misuse or abuse.
• Any female age from 12-49 who has likely been exposed or struggling with substance misuse or abuse.
• Any child or young adult up to age 24 or females ages 12-49 who are experiencing emotional struggles.

For More Information Please Contact:
Adults: Ray Richardson, M.S.W.
(904) 875 6114

Youth: Lee Anne Stephens, R.N.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Call: 1 (877) 726-4727
Visit: https://www.samhsa.gov/

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov .

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