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Ocean Township, NJ, May 10, 2013 -This year, from May 12 through 18, Prevention First will promote National Prevention Week in New Jersey. Created by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), National Prevention Week is a week dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues. 


In 2011, according to New Jersey's Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Monmouth County ranked highest in the state for admissions (7,388) to substance abuse treatment facilities, and Ocean County followed closely behind (6,734). Seven percent of Monmouth's admissions and five percent of Ocean's were for individuals under the age of 18. In light of this ever-growing need for prevention efforts, Prevention First is taking an  active role in promoting National Prevention Week and encouraging everyone to take the  Prevention Pledge (found at 


The theme of this year's Prevention Week is "Your voice. Your choice. Make a difference." The prevention of substance abuse and the promotion of mental health start with the  choices we make. Through our choices, we can set good examples of health and well-being, and with our "voices" - spoken or written - we can raise awareness of behavioral health issues and create healthier and safer communities. 


Each day of National Prevention Week will focus on a different theme, which include: the Prevention and Cessation of Tobacco Use (Sunday), the Prevention of Underage Drinking (Monday), the Prevention of Prescription Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Use (Tuesday), the Prevention of Alcohol Abuse (Wednesday), Suicide Prevention (Thursday) and finally, the Promotion of Mental, Emotional and Behavioral Well-Being (Friday). Prevention First will air public service announcements, use social media to give advice and encourage people of all ages and from all walks of life to sign the Prevention Pledge and take part in prevention.


About Prevention First-- Prevention First is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that has been providing youth, parents and professionals with research-based prevention programs to help children stay healthy, safe and drug-free since 1967.