Drug-Free Tennessee in partnership with the Church of Scientology Nashville held a drug prevention and educational event during Red Ribbon Week, a national initiative to promote drug prevention and awareness, in part to celebrate its 15th anniversary while also showcasing its award winning materials. A special proclamation from the Tennessee State Government for “Truth About Drugs Day,” was announced and celebrates October 30th as a day to commemorate education about the dangers of substance abuse.
Tennessee consistently ranks in the top five US states in terms of substance abuse rates, according to a report from lakeviewhealth.com. The website further describes that despite the rise in opioid addictions, alcohol abuse statistics have remained stable, so alcohol is still the most commonly abused substance in Tennessee. In fact, more than 60 percent of patients who enter state drug treatment programs seek treatment for alcohol addiction and about 1 in 20 Tennessee residents abused or were dependent on alcohol in 2016. The website describes opioid abuse, specifically pointing out that oxycodone and hydrocodone are the most commonly abused of painkillers. Although physicians legally prescribe them, these medications often end up on the black market, which has led to a surge in drug related crimes in Tennessee. Opioid overdoses have become so widespread that the Tennessee General Assembly has permitted pharmacies to carry naloxone, a medication used to negate the effects of an opioid overdose until the patient receives professional treatment.
To protect youth from the disastrous effects of abusing these and other drugs, Drug-Free Tennessee teams up with community partners to bring the truth about drugs to young people during Red Ribbon Week.
“This year is especially significant for Drug-Free Tennessee, as it is celebrating its 15th anniversary this month,” says Julie Brinker, an ambassador for the organization, “We’re excited that we’ve been helping people for 15 years to learn the devastating effects of drugs and be able to make informed decisions.”
Red Ribbon Week is a week-long celebration at the end of October to promote a drug-free lifestyle. The Red Ribbon has been worn as a symbol since 1985 when DEA Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena was murdered. Angered parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons to show their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction caused by drugs in America.
Drug-Free Tennessee is the local chapter of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, an international non-profit organization. Its materials demonstrate the dangers of drugs through factual information and interviews with former addicts giving personal perspectives on each of the substances covered. For more information on the Truth About Drugs, visit drugfreeworld.org or drugfreetn.org.
Here are some notable points regarding the Foundation on this, its 15th Anniversary:
Truth About Drugs educational materials are translated into 26 languages and are in use in 196 countries.
Truth About Drugs online courses teach anyone the truth about drugs and have now surpassed over 135,000 course completions.
The award winning public service announcements and Real People, Real Stories documentary have aired on over 850 TV stations.
To date, more than 13 million students have been empowered with the truth about drugs through the Truth About Drugs curricula in over 30,000 schools and institutions worldwide.
And to top it off, Foundation volunteers have distributed more than 6.6 million Truth About Drugs booklets at international sporting events such as the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games, European World Champions League, FIFA World Cup and Super Bowls 2016-2020.