October is Substance Abuse Prevention Month

Categories: Community

In its monthly meeting, the Mountain Village Town Council approved a proclamation from Tri-County Health Network declaring October 2020 Substance Abuse Prevention Month.

As the Mountain Village Town Council, we also call upon the citizens, government agencies, public and private institutions, businesses and schools in the Town of Mountain Village to recommit our community to increasing awareness and understanding of substance use disorders, the steps our citizens can take to help their fellow citizens who are experiencing addiction, and the need for appropriate and accessible services for all people who are living with substance use disorders.

The month is intended to highlight the vital role of substance use prevention in both individual and community health, to remember those who have lost their lives to substance use, to acknowledge those in recovery, as well as those supporting them, to encourage all to speak openly about this topic to help end the stigma, and to direct those in need to the appropriate support services.

As our community continues to adapt to and protect against the coronavirus pandemic, we are acutely aware of how isolation affects mental health and can encourage the misuse of legal and illegal substances; and adult role models play an integral role in preventing youth substance misuse, we must lead by example, adopt positive behaviors, and talk to our youth about living substance-free. This month, we stand with our local Communities that Care Coalition and community organizations as they advance their drive to keep young people, families, and our community free from drug and alcohol misuse.

For individuals who may be seeking support, Alcoholics Anonymous chapters are continuing to operate virtually. Learn more about local meetings at /aa-westerncolorado.com/meetings. In Telluride, a local chapter of Addict II Athlete, supporting an alternative to traditional support groups for recovery, is operating with weekly meetings and opportunities to connect through exercise (contact Tara Butson at ).

If you are seeking professional help, Tri-County Health Network maintains a directory of local mental health professionals at tchnetworkdirectory.org and offers teletherapy with Colorado-licensed therapists at low or no cost to community members, and for free to students and staff in area schools. You can learn more at tchnetwork.org/teletherapy.

The San Miguel Behavioral Health Solutions Panel provides funding for community members to access behavioral health services if they cannot otherwise afford them. Application for funding can be made through the Good Neighbor Fund at tchnetwork.org/gnf-application.

Consider celebrating Substance Misuse Prevention Month by giving up substances for a day, a week or the month, get outside to walk, hike, bike or run and enjoy the beautiful fall weather, connect with friends in a safe and physically distanced way, and support our fellow community members living in recovery.

To learn more about Tri-County Health and its substance use prevention work, please visit their website or read Paul Reich's recent editorial In the Telluride Daily Planet.

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