by Stacey Diffin-Lafleur
Did you know that the third week in November is National Addiction Awareness week (#NAAW)? These five days are dedicated to bringing awareness about and the elimination of addictions. This year the focus is on youth issues. Our kids are our future so helping them to confront and deal with any addiction issues now will make a huge difference in their lives. The Good Jester urges that if you are supporting an organization or agency that helps our kids, there is no better time to give (#givingtuesday).
Here are just a few statistics on youth addiction (taken from Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse) and why theme this year is so important.
- 57% of Canadian kids between the ages of 15-24 have used drugs sometime in their life,
- Thirteen is the average age when young Canadians first drank an alcoholic beverage,
- 49% of Canadian students in grade 10 to 12 have reported binge drinking in the past 12 months, and,
- 14 is the average age at which students in grades 7 to 12 first used pot.
Substance abuse at a young age can have devastating effects in later life, including mental health disorders and chronic diseases. In addition, these results can also place a burden on our already stretched social safety net.
Look around. Someone close to you may be dealing in silence with an addiction issue. 211 Ontario has a comprehensive list of where you can call or for information or visit for help.
If you or someone you know needs help, no time is better than right now, just ask.