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What is National Prevention Week?

Posted 05-09-2021

NPW is an annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness and action around substance use prevention and the promotion of positive mental health. This year, this national initiative, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), will take place May 9 to 15.


How is prevention defined?

  • the act or practice of stopping something bad from happening 

  • action taken to decrease the chance of getting a disease or condition.

  • aims to reduce the incidence, prevalence, and recurrence of mental health disorders and their associated disability. 

  • a process that attempts to prevent the onset of substance use or limit the development of problems associated with using psychoactive substances.  

  • delivered prior to the onset of a disorder


How does prevention differ from treatment?

Prevention – Delivered prior to the onset of a disorder, these interventions are intended to prevent or reduce the risk of developing a behavioral health problem, such as underage alcohol use. Treatment – These services are for people diagnosed with a substance use or other behavioral health disorder.

What role does prevention play within our organization?

Prevention is often described as the “P” in PORT which makes sense as promotion/prevention is the first step in the continuum of care. You will notice that it moves in a variety of directions. For example, when treating people for substance use we also address relapse prevention. Prevention staff are often an individuals or community members first contact with PORT Health therefore; our job is to represent the agency with professionalism and assist in any way we can. Often times we provide services within the schools, participate in community coalitions, work with the faith based community, participate in local, state and national prevention campaigns to mention just a few. Currently, we are a team of four serving Craven, Edgecombe, Greene, Pamlico, Pitt and Wilson counties.



Behavioral Health Continuum of Care Model


For further information, feel free to email Debbie Sudekum at