Opioids kill more than 136 Americans every day. Overdose deaths from opioids have also increased by 500% among 15-to-24-year-olds since 1999. As the opioid epidemic within our communities becomes more pervasive, youth increasingly are the unintended victims. The traumatic experience of growing up within a family and community where substance use and misuse is prevalent, disrupts a young person's ability to thrive.
We can break the cycle of addiction by focusing on prevention efforts by providing youth-serving organizations like Boys & Girls Clubs with much-needed youth prevention resources. Boys & Girls Clubs can help young people learn how addiction affects their family and friends, how to develop positive feelings about themselves, and how to identify healthy ways to cope.
More support and resources are needed to help meet the need of providing more prevention services to more Clubs; reducing risk factors leading to addiction; and promoting resilience in children, families and communities.