AmerisourceBergen Foundation supports youth opioid abuse prevention

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AmerisourceBergen Foundation supports youth opioid abuse prevention

By Sandra Levy - 09/13/2019
The AmerisourceBergen Foundation is partnering with more than 20 organizations to help prevent and curb the harmful effects of prescription drug misuse, especially among youth. Through the foundation’s Opioid Resource Grant Program, several youth-based organizations will receive the necessary funding to support their prevention initiatives focused on education, youth advocacy, and community-building.

“Adolescence can often be a critical at-risk period for substance misuse. The AmerisourceBergen Foundation recognizes the importance of intervening at an early stage and investing in prevention efforts that build resiliency skills and reduce risk factors among youth,” AmerisourceBergen Foundation president Gina Clark said. “We believe working with community organizations to advance their programs can significantly influence the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of our children, and ultimately, impact their decision-making during this important prevention window.”

The foundation selected several organizations with innovative education programs that help young adults avoid or stop substance misuse though safe disposal tools and proven school curriculums, including EVERFI’s Prescription Drug Safety, a digital learning program for high school students, and the Red Cliff Wellness Curriculum, a program designed to prevent alcohol and substance abuse in youth within a Native cultural context throughout the United States.

Funding also will help implement training prevention activities that mitigate risk factors, including drug refusal skills and effective communication strategies and expand access to education programs designed to enhance protective factors and meet the needs of diverse youth populations. To advance education programming for youth, the foundation will collaborate with organizations including Coffee County Anti-Drug Coalition, Amistades, and Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin.

Young adults can personally relate to the same struggles and experiences as their peers, making them a critical player in substance abuse prevention. To continue to positively impact youth, the foundation will provide additional grants to help train teens on mentoring, peer prevention messages, resistance techniques and community engagement in order to become true advocates for healthy living. The foundation will support youth advocacy programs in partnership with Young People in Recovery; and the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County.

In addition to peer support, youth  also find guidance in their community. Additional grants will provide training and education opportunities for family members, local residents, and community stakeholders to make informed decisions on their health. Some programs will also help extend community support by increasing access to mental health professionals within schools and communities. For these community-building initiatives, the foundation will support institutions such as: Hampton Roads Community Action Program; Youth First of Indiana; and Parents Resource Institute for Drug Education of Tuscaloosa.

Under the guidance and expertise of two External Advisory Committees, the selected grantees are part of the foundation’s second giving cycle for fiscal year 2019. This year, the foundation has collaborated with more than 50 community-based organizations across both grant-giving cycles to help prevent opioid misuse and promote safe disposal. The Opioid Resource Grant Program has received an overwhelming amount of interest from nonprofit organizations seeking a meaningful partner who will help support their community initiatives and strengthen their impact on opioid prevention.

For more information about the AmerisourceBergen Foundation and how to apply for the next grant-giving cycle, please visit www.amerisourcebergenfoundation.org.

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