First Lady Mary Pat Christie Partners with National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) Family Day Program

First Lady Mary Pat Christie is once again joining forces with CASA to celebrate Family Day and recognize the simple activities parents do every day to bond and communicate with their children to keep them drug-free. In addition, the First Lady announced that Drumthwacket, the Governor’s Official Residence in Princeton, will be lit in blue the evening of Monday, September 25 to mark CASA’s national initiative Family Day – Make EveryDay Special®.

“The substance abuse epidemic is not something unique to New Jersey, but is a problem in every state across the country,” said First Lady Mary Pat Christie. “As parents, it’s important that we take time out from our busy schedules to talk to our children and be engaged in their lives.  Sometimes it’s the simplest activities that help create stronger bonds and greater communications that ultimately can prevent potential substance abuse.”

Addiction is a disease that in many cases begins in adolescence. In fact, nine out of 10 Americans who meet the medical criteria for addiction started smoking, drinking or using other drugs before age 18.

Preventing or delaying teens from using addictive substances for as long as possible is crucial to their health and safety. That’s why it is important for parents to start talking with their children at an early age, taking time to explain things in basic terms that are easily understandable. Peer pressure may play a pivotal role in a child’s decision to use nicotine, alcohol and other drugs.

Over the past and seven and half years, Governor Christie and First Lady Mary Pat Christie have put a strong emphasis on changing the conversation on substance use and addiction. Recently, Governor Christie announced an additional $200 million to implement and expand an array of initiatives for addiction, treatment and recovery services.  These include patient navigators for children and families receiving assistance through the Children’s System of Care; increasing funding for the statewide Recovery Coach Program; and increased spending for colleges and universities to provide on-campus recovery programs.

Founded in 2001 by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Family Day works with organizations across the country to educate parents about how everyday activities create strong, healthy relationships that can prevent future substance use.

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