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By Connor Gilbertson 
Public Relations Coordinator,
Region 5 Prevention Resource Center,
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council

This week is the National Alcohol and Drug Facts Week to raise awareness concerning alcohol and drug use. It began in 2010 as a means of separating fact from fiction. Throughout this week, students, educators, healthcare providers and community partners come together to be educated on substance use and addiction among youth.

As time has gone on since 2010, technology has advanced to an unbelievable level, which has only allowed youth to be introduced to content they shouldn’t be seeing. This can include information and marketing promoting the drug, tobacco and alcohol industries. Agencies have to turn to social media and public activities to spread the drug-free message to youth and combat the content they’ve been seeing.

Just like technology, drugs, tobacco and alcohol have advanced. E-cigarettes/vapes were not as prominent among youth in 2010 as they are now. A huge reason for this comes down to the marketing and concentration of nicotine within a disposable vape. For example, an ELFBAR BC5000, a popular vape on the market, contains the equivalent of 400 cigarettes or 20 packs. Keep in mind that is one device that holds 20 packs of cigarettes worth of nicotine as well as other chemicals that are extremely bad for anyone.

Another cause for concern is the fentanyl crisis and opioid epidemic the United States is currently facing. One pill is all it takes these days. A deadly dose of fentanyl is measured in micrograms and looks no larger than the tip of a pencil. Pills are being laced with fentanyl and distributed out. Eight out of 10 prescriptions ordered online are counterfeit and six out of 10 contain a lethal dose of fentanyl.

As technology, drugs and alcohol continue to change, we must continue to educate community members, teachers and students by giving them the facts and providing an interactive way to do so. Prevention is key in our youth, and it takes everyone involved in order to make it happen.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, there is help available. Contact the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council at 800-445-8562 to receive compassionate and professional help today.

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