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Happy Thanksgiving Week! As I think about all that I’m grateful for, you are at the top of my list, because without your care and concern for the youth of North Texas and for drug prevention programs, Drug Prevention Resources would not have an 82-year history. With your support, we have accomplished . . .

October 23-31 is Red Ribbon Week, a time for schools to check the box that says they do drug prevention with their students. That means that our prevention team is slammed—doing multiple presentations every day, often all day long. 

What exactly is Red Ribbon Week? Several years ago, when I posed that question to my young granddaughter, she was extremely excited to tell me it was the time when all the kids got to wear crazy socks and hats to school. When I asked her why they did that she rolled her eyes and said . . .

Like many, I am infuriated over the recent news stories from 60 Minutes and The Washington Post about how leading pharmaceutical companies, makers of the opioids killing nearly 150 Americans a day, many still in their youth, are bedding down with members of Congress.

Because two of my favorite parts of our mission are collaboration and innovation, I recently attended the 2017 Partners in Prevention Conference, hosted by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).

In case you’re not aware, DFPS was completely restructured in 2016, when they became a stand-alone agency apart from the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). HHSC is the state agency that oversees . . .

National Recovery Month has a dual meaning for the state of Texas this year where earlier this month Hurricane Harvey devastated much of our coastline communities from Corpus Christi to Galveston.

Houston was particularly hard hit; as the nation’s fourth largest city a majority of businesses—not to mention homes, churches and community centers—went underwater.

Gov. Greg Abbott estimates that recovery efforts related to this storm . . .

The devastation caused by alcohol and other drugs is much more pervasive than natural disasters and more challenging to fundraise for because of continued shame and stigma around substance misuse and substance use disorders.

We've had the best time over the last few weeks delivering ice cream sundaes and hosting ice cream socials with leaders of our IMPACT Community Coalitions. It is truly amazing to hear about all the great prevention work happening through our seven coalitions.

For example, in Corsicana, IMPACT Navarro celebrated 12 years of changing lives through community partnerships. Over ice cream, our own Alvis Reeves spoke about the value of long-standing partnerships with the NAACP, Community National Bank and Trust, VOICE and P&S Pharmacy which hosts one of the city’s permanent prescription drug drop-boxes. Support from the Corsicana Daily Sun ...

Sending kids back to school is often a relief for parents following the hectic months of summer camps, vacations and sibling squabbles.

Back-to-school can also be a time of apprehension as parents wonder how their kids will handle the probable exposure to alcohol, tobacco (including electronic vapor products) and other drugs. As a parent or other caring adult in a child or teen’s life, you may have questions about how to have conversations with them about the latest drug trends or even what to do if . . .

During his second visit to Drug Prevention Resources to speak to the staff about marijuana, board member Jimmy Capra posed a few key questions about legalizing marijuana, whether for “medical” or recreational purposes. What is our messaging to young people around marijuana? How and why, when one in seven people become addicted, are we still having conversations about marijuana? Does the truth matter? San Antonio Senator Jose Menendez has once again introduced a bill (SB 269) to legalize marijuana in Texas. This bill would decriminalize marijuana “for medical use by qualif…

Scarcely a week goes by that we don’t hear the tragic news of another young person lost to a heroin or prescription pain medication overdose. Our nation is indeed in the grips of a major crisis. Some say we are losing a generation to the opioid epidemic. As heartbreaking as the news is most days, I often find myself wondering why America isn’t crying as many tears for the young lives lost to alcohol use, misuse and abuse? The national average age when a child begins drinking alcohol is 14. In Texas, that age is 12.5. According to the Centers for Disease Control, people ages 12-…

We all have our personal opinions about the nation’s new leadership, set to change one week from today. I’m asking you to put those opinions aside for a bit because you and I have an urgent and critical task at hand. We need to make sure that addiction-related issues, including prevention and equal access to treatment, remains on the new president’s radar. Our friends at Facing Addiction have made it easy. They’ve posted a letter to President-elect Trump on their website available for anyone to sign. The letter points out that, on the campaign trail, Mr. Trump openly…

“How we respond to the addiction crisis is a moral test for America.” On November 17th in Los Angeles, these words were spoken by the United States Surgeon General. They are without a doubt some of the most powerful words I've heard in the past year. Addiction is a health issue, not a moral failing. Period. I have waited 28 years—the entire time of my own recovery from addiction—for a moment such as this. America’s top doc has thrown down the gauntlet. His report, called Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, l…

Every first Tuesday of November, in Melbourne Australia where I originate from, we have a public holiday to celebrate a two-mile horse race called the Melbourne Cup. It’s called the race that stops a nation. This year I spent this day in the Texas Capitol building in Austin learning about the ABC’s of advocacy. I have heard the word Advocacy throughout my life, with only a high-level understanding of what it is. I always thought it was only for professionally trained people who work in government or lobbyists from certain industries who have huge amounts of money to fund their ef…

Red Ribbon Week is a long-held tradition in the prevention world with roots stretching back to 1988. In that year, the National Family Partnership, formerly known as the National Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth, held the first Red Ribbon campaign to honor and celebrate the life of Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent who was brutally tortured and murdered in Mexico in 1985. The special story about Camarena includes his words to his mother when she objected to Kiki joining the DEA. He said, “I’m only person, but I want to make a dif…

I'm not choosing to give to Drug Prevention Resources on North Texas Giving Day because I'm the CEO of this phenomenal organization. I'm giving because I believe with all of my heart that drug prevention is the most important strategy for keeping our youth from becoming addicted. I was one of those kids who was never exposed to a drug prevention program. I began using alcohol and other drugs when I was 13 because I wanted to be one of the "cool" kids. My parents never talked to me about the dangers of alcohol or other drugs - probably because my mother was an alcoh…

School supplies? Check. New clothes and shoes? Check. Doctor visits? Check. Conversations about drug and alcohol use? Wait. What? In North Texas, one in three school-age youth are using alcohol, which kills six and a half times more of our kids than all other drugs combined. When was the last time you really talked to your kids? Research shows that 90 percent of addiction begins in the teen years and teens who begin using early in life have a much greater risk of becoming addicted. If we can prevent teens from using until their brains fully develop—at about age 25—we decreas…

North Texas Giving Day — the ONE DAY that North Texans donate en masse online to their favorite charities—is a little more than two months away; it’s September 22. This year, as in years past, we’re asking you to log on to https://northtexasgivingday.org/npo/drug-prevention-resources between 6 am and midnight. This year, unlike years past, I’m asking you personally. And I’m asking for ONE reason: Because addiction is 100 percent preventable. You see, that’s what we do at Drug Prevention Resources. We prevent addiction. Sure, there’s a more in-…

There are few guarantees in life but here’s one: Drug use and misuse is 100 percent preventable, if there is a strong and urgent commitment among individuals and communities to protect youth. Ninety percent of adults with addiction began drinking, smoking or using other drugs before they were 18. People who use addictive substances before they’re 18 are up to six times more likely to develop a substance use disorder than those who delay initiating use until the age of 21 or after. Without dedicated work to educate students, families and communities and protect our young people, h…

President Obama recently spoke to the heart of what those of us in prevention hold dear when he said, “We want to make sure a third grader has support so he doesn’t engage in destructive behavior.” His comment came during a panel/conversation at the 2016 National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta attended by 1,900 of the nation's top researchers, law enforcement officials, advocates and policy-makers. I had the pleasure of attending the conference and watching the President speak directly to Justin Luke Riley whose recovery story included beginning to use sub…

Our Impact in the Last Decade

  • People Helped

    130,000

  • Kids Helped

    50,000

  • Sites Served

    50

  • Volunteer Hours

    110,000

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