Education is the main focus for the Permian Basin Regional Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, according to a presentation by Rebecca Baker during Friday morning’s Kindred Coffee Hour.
“It’s not a secret that the opioid crisis is growing across the nation. One of the best ways to stop this crisis is to get communities educated, empower the youth to take a stand against peer pressure by highlighting the importance of proper medication disposal,” Amanda Duforat, SMMC Marketing Mgr., said.
Baker discussed the new drug prevention outreach curriculum – Impact Youth – a program of PBRCADA, to the area school systems. The program teaches students how to respond to peer pressure by providing education on the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol.
“We focus our teachings on making positive choices. In the past, programs have taught simply saying no is the answer, but when our youth are being faced with peer pressure, saying no isn’t always easy. We want the youth to understand why they are saying no and to help them feel empowered when they make that decision,” Baker said.
According to Baker, one of the new crazes are “pill parties” which is why proper disposal of medications is receiving a heavy push. Many households have expired prescriptions in their cabinets simply because they do not know how to get rid of them.
“Just allowing medications to sit in our medicine cabinets or around our house leaves the door open for a child to get a hold of them and ingest them, older kids have the temptation of experimenting and so many other potential hazards,” Baker said. “The more opportunities we can eliminate, the further we are in the fight against the opioid crisis.”
The PBRCADA offers a medication deactivation system free of charge. The pouches and buckets contain a chemical inside that dissolves the medication and makes them safe for disposal. For those who are needing to dispose of medications, call Baker at 264-7844.
“We are trying to get as much education out to the community as possible. Even if you do not have access to one of these pouches, there are other safe alternatives to disposing of those unused medications,” Baker said. “Our office is willing to provide pouches, provide education and even schedule a disposal collection event. We encourage those who have more questions or would like us to come out to give us a call.”
To keep up with activities in your community, provided by PBRCADA and other substance information, follow Impact Youth Big Spring on Facebook.