REDONDO BEACH, Calif. (October 26, 2020) – The Beach Cities Partnership for Youth Coalition is raising awareness about prevention of youth substance use during Substance Abuse Prevention Month in October and Red Ribbon Week®, Oct. 23-31.
Activities include a video featuring Coalition Steering Committee and Student Mental Health Provider Task Force members titled “Prescription Drugs and Opioids: What Beach Cities Students and Parents Need to Know,” co-produced by Beach Cities Health District and South Bay Families Connected. The video will be released on Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. on YouTube, allowing students, families and staff the opportunity to view anonymously.
Other activities include virtual assemblies at local schools with Stephen Hill of Speak Sobriety, the launch of a School Well-Being Line for families and school staff, enhanced opioid prevention resources on the Beach Cities Health District website (bchd.org) and social media messages about substance use prevention.
“Substance use by young people has become widespread in California and opioids have tragically impacted our community this year,” said Tom Bakaly, CEO of BCHD. “Our communitywide coalition, the Beach Cities Partnership for Youth, is bringing the community together to have a conversation about youth substance use and taking action to prevent it in our community.”
Coalition members are invited to download and use a virtual background during October to raise awareness about prevention and take a stand against drugs and alcohol.
As a recipient of the Drug-Free Communities grant program, administered through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Beach Cities Partnership for Youth joins more than 700 communitybased coalitions nationwide in addressing youth substance use.
On Nov. 2, the Families Connected Parent Chat, co-facilitated by South Bay Families Connected and Torrance Memorial’s Thelma McMillen Center, will focus on opioids and what parents need to know. Registration information is available at www.southbayfamiliesconnected.org .
BCHD is also exploring opportunities to make naloxone –a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose – more widely available in the community to prevent another overdose.
Key Facts: Opioids in the Beach Cities
- Data from the 2018-19 California Healthy Kids Survey show that 37% of Beach Cities 11th graders have used drugs or alcohol in the past 30 days, on average
- A report by the Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health found almost 29% of adults in the South Bay report being under 18 years of age when they first misused prescription drugs.
- In the South Bay area, there were 430 opioid prescriptions per 1000 residents in 2018, according to the California Department of Public Health.
About National Red Ribbon Week
The Red Ribbon Campaign® is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation, reaching millions of young people each year during Red Ribbon Week. National Family Partnership (NFP) is the sponsor of the National Red Ribbon Week® celebration. The Red Ribbon Campaign® was started in 1988 after drug traffickers in Mexico City murdered DEA agent Kiki Camarena in 1985. This began the continuing tradition of displaying Red Ribbons as a symbol of intolerance towards the use of drugs. The mission of the Red Ribbon Campaign® is to present a unified and visible commitment towards the creation of a drug-free America. A non-profit organization based in Miami, Fla., NFP helps citizens across the country come together to keep children, families and communities safe, healthy and drug-free, through parent training, networking and sponsoring the National Red Ribbon Campaign®. For 2020, the national Red Ribbon theme is “Be Happy. Be Brave. Be Drug Free.™”
About Beach Cities Health District
Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) is a healthcare district focused on preventative health and serves the communities of Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach. Established in 1955 as a public agency, it offers an extensive range of dynamic health and wellness programs, with innovative services and facilities to promote health and prevent diseases across the lifespan. BCHD also operates AdventurePlex, a health and fitness facility where kids play their way to good health, and the Center for Health & Fitness, a comprehensive fitness center that is the only Medical Fitness Association-certified facility in California. Visit www.bchd.org or call (310) 374-3426 for more information. ###