April Substance Abuse Awareness Month reminds citizens throughout Yavapai County of the importance in preventing substance abuse. Municipal councils recognize the month each year by making formal proclamations, which state, "substance abuse has far reaching effects upon citizens, impacting individuals, families, friends, adults and children alike."
"We know that raising awareness about substance abuse risks is an important mission in building healthier communities," said Merilee Fowler, MATForce Executive Director. "One young woman recently thanked a speaker bureau member, Bob Farster, for talking to her school about the risks of drug use. She had quit using drugs and got a job. She said that Bob that raising her awareness helped save her life."
MATForce kicked off April Substance Abuse Awareness month with the Verde Valley area March Against Meth Parade and Community Fair on March 26 in Cottonwood. Also, during March, youth throughout the county were invited to create short videos using the theme of "My Voice Makes a Difference" for the annual Youth Video Contest.
During April, MATForce has many events and activities planned to raise awareness. The annual youth poster contest is underway inviting youth ages 5 through 18 to create a poster with an anti-drug message. Presentations to schools and civic groups will help raise awareness about the risks as well as newspapers, radio and TV assist with prevention messages.
On April 18, all community members are invited to learn more about MATForce at its annual informational mixer. The event from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the Prescott Resort in Prescott. Youth involvement in MATForce will be honored. Poster and video contest winners will be announced.
Community Reinforcement and Family Therapy (CRAFT) trainings will be held on April 25 in Camp Verde and April 26 in Prescott. Professionals and family members are invited to a low cost ($10) training designed to help the families of loved ones struggling with substance abuse. To register, please contact MATForce at (928) 708-0100.
Yavapai County residents will have the opportunity to dispose of unwanted medications during a county-wide Dump the Drugs event on April 30. Residents can safely dispose of unwanted medication at Police Departments in Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley and both the Mayer and Bagdad Sheriff's Substations and at the Sedona Police Department from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Additionally, on April 9, a Dump the Drugs event will be held at the Jerome Fire Station from 9 a.m. to noon.
For more information on any of these events please contact MATForce at (928) 708-0100 or visit matforce.org.