The Foundation for a Drug-Free South, a chapter of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, is educating young people on the harmful effects of drugs throughout Tennessee.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, “In 2007-2008, Tennessee ranked first among all states for past-year non-medical use of pain relievers among persons age 26 or older. Tennessee also was one of the top ten states for rates in other drug-use categories, including past-month use of illicit drugs other than marijuana among persons age 12 and older.” This is why the Foundation for a Drug-Free World has plans to spread its education initiatives further in the coming months.
Anne Vallieres coordinates the local chapter of the Foundation, Drug-Free South. “It is no longer difficult for children to get their hands on drugs,” she says, “they are everywhere. Our purpose is to educate young people on their harmful effects, so they know why they should stay away.”
Vallieres says this program doesn’t just tell a student to say no. “We give them the truth, then they can make up their mind. It becomes their decision to say no.”
Drug-Free South has been educating students in and around Tennessee since 2009. So far, the group has enlightened over 15,000 students across 30 counties in the state.
The Foundation is a nonprofit public benefit corporation that empowers youth and adults with factual information about drugs so they can make informed decisions and live drug-free. According to drugfreeworld.org, “No one, especially a young person, likes to be lectured about what he or she can or cannot do. Thus, we provide the facts that empower youth to choose not to take drugs in the first place.”
The organization provides a “Truth About Drugs” booklet, an informational pamphlet that details short- and long-term effects of drugs, common street names and myths that a drug dealer might use to make a sale. The Foundation offers educational materials free of charge to educators and anyone who wants to learn more about drugs.
For more information, visit www.drugfreesouth.org.