Injury/substance abuse prevention programs are valuable
Injuries are a major cause of hospitalization and death. Lanark, Leeds and Grenville have a higher rate of death due to injury than the Ontario average. Not only can injuries cause hospitalization and death but they can also cause considerable pain and suffering. Most of these injuries can be prevented.
The most common injuries are related to falls followed by motor vehicle collisions. Many of these occur because of lack of wearing proper equipment and/or the use of drug and alcohol. Due to this link between injury and substance use, many of the programs or events that we are involved with at the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit deal with both Injury and Substance Abuse Prevention together.
Racing Against Drugs (RAD)
RAD is a community-based drug/alcohol
awareness and injury prevention program for grade 5 and 6 students in our tri-county. Each Racing Against Drugs event provides up to 25 different learning opportunities or "pit stops" from Police, Public Health, Addictions agencies and many other community partners. These pit stops help to demonstrate the link between healthy choices and risk taking through various sports/activities with zero tolerance for drug use.
This popular four-week program has Public Health Nurses in grade 7 and 8 classrooms one afternoon a week. Each week covers issues that influence the decisions young people make. The topics covered include: self-esteem, peer pressure, body image, relationships, harassment, drugs, choices, smart risk, stress and depression.
The Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Services Department works closely with community coalitions such as Safe Communities, Smiths Falls FOCUS, North Grenville Road Safety Challenge Committee, Risk Watch Coalition of Perth and District, Risk Watch Coalition of Leeds and Grenville and the Eastern Ontario Regional Injury Network. These groups work together to make our community a safer place. Events such as Car Seat Safety Checks, Road Safety Challenge, Safe Kids Week, Bike Rodeos, Drug Awareness Week, and the Medicine Clean Out campaign are a few examples.