Drug-Free Tennessee Holds Red Ribbon Week Event 2021

 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.

Drug Free Tennessee

Arlo Dixon

615-358-8338

www.drugfreetn.org

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Drug-Free Tennessee Holds International Overdose Awareness Day Event

 Recently released data by the CDC show that drug overdose deaths reached a record high of 93,331 in 2020. That’s more than 20,000 deaths above the previous high in 2019 and the largest single-year percentage increase on record since 1999.

Drug-Free Tennessee (DFT) has long warned youth and adults alike on the dangers of drug abuse, and recently an event was held for International Overdose Awareness Day with special guest speaker Michael Deleon, founder of Steered Straight.

International Overdose Awareness Day was initiated in 2001 by Sally J Finn at The Salvation Army in St. Kilda, Melbourne. Since 2001, many community members as well as government and non-government organizations have held events to raise awareness and commemorate those who have been lost to drug overdose. According to OverdoseDay.org, “International Overdose Awareness Day is the world’s largest annual campaign to end overdose, remember without stigma those who have died and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind.”

Drug-Free Tennessee is the local chapter of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, an international non-profit working to help educate people on the dangers of drugs through a multimedia campaign.

During the event, Deleon told his story and walked the audience through drug statistics and how COVID has affected the overdose rates. He spoke on the efficacy of the Truth About Drugs program and materials, and thanked those who had contributed to it. He emphasized the one true answer to the drug problem is education.

Resources are available free of charge through drugfreeworld.org, including downloadable Truth About Drugs booklet, which cover all basic side effects of drugs, common street names, and how to recognize when you are being persuaded by a dealer. DFT also has a range of award winning Public Service Announcements and an award winning feature length documentary detailing the dangers of drugs and addiction. To learn more or to order booklets or view the videos, visit drugfreetn.org and drugfreeworld.org.

Drug Free Tennessee

Arlo Dixon

615-358-8338

www.drugfreetn.org

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  • Addiction

Drug-Free Tennessee Observes International Day Against Drug Abuse Virtually

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration interviewed more than 230,000 young adults from 2002 to 2012. It found that on an average June or July day, more than 11,000 teens try alcohol for the first time, while first-time alcohol use during the rest of the year is about 5,000-8,000.

Drug-Free Tennessee has long warned youth and adults alike on the dangers of drug abuse, including alcohol abuse. During the summer, DFT is reminding parents to help their kids with drug-free activities so they stay safe and healthy.

There are infinite ideas for safe, healthy activities kids can do during summer from sports, swimming, biking, attending or hosting cookouts, hiking, and more. Some ideas can be found at kidshealth.org, including a breakdown for interests by grade level.

International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking occurs on June 26 each year and was created by the UN General Assembly in December 1987 to encourage all sectors of society to work together to tackle drug abuse and addiction.

Drug-Free Tennessee has hosted virtual resources throughout 2020 at drugfreetn.org and has continued this year with audio-visual messages and videos aimed at helping people steer clear of drug abuse and addiction. The organization has also long offered virtual learning resources and free materials to all educators wanting to help people learn the truth about drugs. Resources are available free of charge through drugfreeworld.org.

Drug-Free Tennessee distributes the Truth About Drugs booklet, which cover all basic side effects of drugs, common street names, and how to recognize when you are being persuaded by a dealer. DFT also has a range of award winning Public Service Announcements and an award winning feature length documentary detailing the dangers of drugs and addiction. To learn more or to order booklets or view the videos, visit drugfreetn.org and drugfreeworld.org.

Drug-Free Tennessee Encourages Safe, Drug-Free Summer for Youth

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration interviewed more than 230,000 young adults from 2002 to 2012. It found that on an average June or July day, more than 11,000 teens try alcohol for the first time, while first-time alcohol use during the rest of the year is about 5,000-8,000.

Drug-Free Tennessee has long warned youth and adults alike on the dangers of drug abuse, including alcohol abuse. With summer approaching and school’s letting out soon, DFT is reminding parents to help their kids with drug-free activities so they stay safe and healthy.

There are infinite ideas for safe, healthy activities kids can do during summer from sports, swimming, biking, attending or hosting cookouts, hiking, and more. Some ideas can be found at kidshealth.org, including a breakdown for interests by grade level.

Drug-Free Tennessee has hosted virtual resources throughout 2020 at drugfreetn.org and has continued this year with audio-visual messages and videos aimed at helping people steer clear of drug abuse and addiction. The organization has also long offered virtual learning resources and free materials to all educators wanting to help people learn the truth about drugs. Resources are available free of charge through drugfreeworld.org.

Drug-Free Tennessee distributes the Truth About Drugs booklet, which cover all basic side effects of drugs, common street names, and how to recognize when you are being persuaded by a dealer. DFT also has a range of award winning Public Service Announcements and an award winning feature length documentary detailing the dangers of drugs and addiction. To learn more or to order booklets or view the videos, visit drugfreetn.org and drugfreeworld.org.