AVON — Town Administrator Gregory S. Enos is pleased to announce that the Avon Coalition for Everyone’s Success (ACES) will be hosting a week-long series of virtual events next week to raise awareness and education for youth drug use and suicide.
From April 19-23 ACES will host a Virtual Prevention Week, meant to bring the community together to discuss the scientific facts of drugs and suicide, as well as their potential health effects on the teen body and brain. Each day, a different drug or topic will be featured on the ACES Instagram or Facebook pages.
The community is encouraged to share ACES posts during the week to help spread this important information to as many people as possible.
“Both substance use disorder and suicide are preventable,” said Amanda Decker, ACES Coalition Coordinator. “We hope residents of all ages take part in this week of virtual prevention events, as the information is important for both younger people and their families to know and discuss.”
The weeklong series of events includes the following:
April 19 – Preventing Youth E-Cigarette Use
E-cigarettes contain harmful chemicals in the e-liquids. These products are not harmless water vapor. E-cigarettes contain aerosols, which contain substances such as ultrafine particles that embed into the lining of the lungs, chemicals that cause cancer, heavy metals, diacetyl — a chemical linked to lung disease, and nicotine.
Due to a lack of regulation and marketing schemes, some e-cigarettes can falsely claim to not contain nicotine or other harmful ingredients.
April 20 – 420: Preventing Youth Marijuana Use
Marijuana causes harmful long-term effects. The danger of repeated marijuana usage in teenagers and young adults is the drug can delay brain development, and potentially cause irreversible decrease in intelligence.
The human brain is still developing until age 25, and using drugs during this time period can very negatively affect development. Not to mention long term use can lead to weaker lungs, heart attack, impaired fetal development in pregnancy, lower life satisfaction, and poor mental and physical health.
April 21 – Preventing Youth Alcohol Use
Underage drinking is associated with adult drinking and can lead to addiction. Teens who start drinking before age 15 years are five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after the legal age of 21.
April 22 – Preventing Youth Prescription Use
Prescription opioids are highly addictive. There is a serious risk of abuse, addiction and overdose when using prescription pain medication outside of a physician’s guidance. Physicians are trained to know how much and how often a medication should be administered to avoid these risks, and medications should only be taken within these guidelines.
Aside from these risks, improperly using prescription drugs can lead to drug tolerance, physical dependency, decreased pain tolerance, confusion and depression.
April 23 – Preventing Youth Suicide
There is help. Those contemplating suicide need support more than anything else. If someone you know is experiencing symptoms reach out, provide support, and have a conversation. Sometimes all it takes is a conversation to save someone’s life.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention provides resources that can change the life of someone experiencing suicidal thoughts or actions.
“These are very important conversations to have, and we thank Avon Coalition for Everyone’s Success for all that they do to bring these issues to the forefront so that families can have honest conversations about youth drug use and suicide,” Town Administrator Enos said. “The Town of Avon takes these issues very seriously and we will continue to support the community in any way we can for the safety of our younger residents.”