National Addiction Awareness Week (NAAW) is a national week recognized by Canadians across the country. Every year Albertans participate in NAAW in their local communities with the goal of providing information and promoting activities that increase the awareness of addiction related issues and the range of services available in the province – including information, prevention and treatment services. NAAW is also a week to celebrate and recognize the capacity of our communities and individuals who work together every year to support and encourage addiction-free lifestyles.
This year, Alberta is continuing with the theme “Small actions make big differences.” Alberta Health Services is providing ways individuals and communities can make a difference in the lives of their families, friends and wider community members.
Here are some small actions you can take to make a big difference:
- Be a positive role model. Parents are their children’s greatest influence. Children eventually adopt their parents’ values or ways of acting.
- Listen, listen, and then listen some more.
- Eat at least one meal together as a family every day.
- Let children decide on a fun family activity to do together.
- Read to your children and have them read to you.
- Praise children often. Tell them what they are doing well.
- Attend your children’s activities. Be their biggest supporter.
- Get to know your children’s friends and their parents.
- Talk to your children about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs and gambling in an open and honest manner.
For more information about what AHS is doing about alcohol and other drug abuse and addiction and please visit the Addiction and Mental Health page at: http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/amh.asp
Understanding why alcohol and other drug dependence can happen can be complicated. Fortunately there is information and help available. If you a need support for yourself or someone you care about, please call the Addiction Helpline at 1-866-332-2322.