ALABAMA TEENAGE OPIOID PREVENTION INITIATIVE

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High school basketball player is injured while practicing.  He's lying on the ground holding his knee and his coach is kneeling beside him while other players stand around and look worried.

High school basketball player is injured while practicing

High school injured teenager with knee brace and crutches talks to his coach in the locker room about taking more pain pills and buying them online instead of getting a prescription from a doctor.

High school injured teenager talks to his coach in the locker room

Prevention efforts are the first line of defense against risky or harmful substance abuse.

Our children must learn never to take a pill that has not been prescribed directly for them. Never take a pill bought from a friend or on social media. Only a pill is dangerous and a pill can kill.”

— Sallye R. Longshore, Director, Children’s Trust Fund

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA, UNITED STATES, Jan. 18, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — Research shows that ninety percent of Americans with a substance use disorder started using drugs or alcohol before the age of 18, making them more likely to develop a substance abuse disorder to develop.* Prevention efforts are the first line of defense against risky or harmful substance abuse.

In Alabama, the opioid crisis is a public health and economic crisis. Alabama ranks 7th in the US for the number of nonfatal opioid overdoses and Walker County ranks 5th as one of the highest counties in the country. ** Children and adults are dying and families are devastated. This epidemic does not discriminate against anyone. It affects all populations and all sectors of our economy, from urban settings to isolated rural communities.

More than half of the fentanyl-laced counterfeit prescription pills peddled in communities across the country now contain a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl.*** This marks a dramatic increase in 2022 – from four in 10 to six in 10 – in the number of pills that can kill. It’s important to educate youth, teens, and parents in Alabama about how to become dependent on opioids, how to prevent addiction, and the resources that are available to offer hope and help.

To address these issues, the Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention/Children’s Trust Fund (ADCANP) created an opioid prevention initiative. The initiative includes commercials, videos, websites, a social media component, digital ads, textbooks and posters, billboards, resources and more. The site was created as a social media site to engage youth at their level. You can find out more about the initiative at https://besmartdontstart.com/.

Sallye R. Longshore, director of the Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention/Children’s Trust Fund, explains: “Children are the invisible victims of the opioid epidemic. Parental substance abuse not only often leads to child abuse and neglect, but abused and neglected children tend to grow into substance-dependent adults. Our children must learn never to take a pill that has not been prescribed directly for them. Never take a pill from a friend. Never take a pill you bought on social media. Only a pill is dangerous and a pill can kill.”

ADCANP awarded Fowler Davis 4 Change a grant to produce this initiative. “We are honored to be collaborating with ADCANP on this very important project. Our goal is to provide prevention education and empower our youth to become more educated about the effects and dangers of opioid addiction,” said Barbara Fowler, co-founder of Fowler Davis 4 Change, a (501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose vision it is transforming lives through visual storytelling to create awareness, empowerment and action.

Statistical sources:
* https://drugfree.org/reports/adolescent-substance-use-americas-1-public-health-problem/#:~:text=90%25%20of%20Americans%20who%20meet,at%20age%2021 %20or%20older.
** https://nemsis.org/opioid-overdose-tracker/
*** https://www.dea.gov/alert/dea-laboratory-testing-reveals-6-out-10-fentanyl-laced-fake-prescription-pills-now-contain

Learn more:
Be smart, don’t start. Opioids ruin lives. https://besmartdontstart.com/
Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention/Children’s Trust Fund https://ctf.alabama.gov/
Change Fowler Davis 4 https://www.fowlerdavis4change.org/

Barbara Fowler
Fowler Davis 4 change
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