Our organization has evolved drug prevention into a meaningful, evidence-based programming operation. There is no more lying or misleading kids, or attempting to scare them straight, or giving them ultimatums with no context. Those practices never really worked to begin with. And even if they did, every kid these days has a fact-checking, wi-fi enabled device in their back pocket that they are likely using as you read this.
The truth about drug culture in our society today is this… addiction is everywhere. Our office receives calls daily about friends and family members who have been experimenting with, or have already developed a habit to, either prescription drugs or nicotine products or alcohol or illegal substances. Odds are that you know someone who has been affected. These days, almost everyone does.
That’s where our efforts begin. If we can make kids understand addiction before having an opportunity to become addicted, then we have at least given them a chance to avoid it altogether. I tell students all the time that no one wakes up in the morning and says to themselves, “today seems like a great day to get addicted.” It happens gradually, is unintentional, and it can progress very quickly due to the potency of today’s substances.
And this is the reason that we must do more. Over the past two years, we have expanded our programming to reach more students, more parents, more teachers, and more of the community as a whole. This issue doesn't care what color you are, or where you live, or how much money you make. Combatting addiction is a community effort, and we need all the help we can get.
So, follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Instagram. And have us come do a presentation for you. We provide presentations to schools, churches, parent groups, youth groups, civic organizations, college students, and even businesses. Contact us and check out our website at prideoftuscaloosa.org.
Thank you for indulging in the annual shameless plug. Next month, we will resume discussion on other issues that plague Tuscaloosa. Or maybe one that doesn't… how about college football?
I tweet insignificant things @ozborn34.
Derek Osborn is the Executive Director of PRIDE of Tuscaloosa by trade and a writer by hobby. He lives in Tuscaloosa with his wife, Lynn, and their daughters, Savannah and Anica.