Narconon Arrowhead Educates Local Youth on Negative Impact of Drug and Alcohol Use
Oklahoma is no stranger to the drug crisis that is sweeping the U.S. Drug addiction is no longer a “city problem,” it has hit every town across the nation—rural, urban and suburban. It’s often been said that drug addiction knows no boundaries, no class distinction—drug addiction does not discriminate.
This has never been more true than today. According to the Pew Research Center, as fatal overdoses rise, the reality has hit home and a growing number of Americans are reporting that they see drug addiction as a major problem in their communities. In fact, 90% of Americans in rural America state that drug addiction is either a major problem or a minor problem in their community.
The biggest drug threat for our communities across Oklahoma is methamphetamine, according to a statement from the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, with the majority of law enforcement rating the seriousness of the methamphetamine threat as “high” or “extremely high.” Oklahoma reported 336 fatal methamphetamine-related overdoses in 2018 — which is an increase over 2017.
However, it’s not just street drugs anymore. In fact, out of the 700 unintentional poisoning deaths in Oklahoma each year, 60% involved at least one prescription drug. And the most common drug involved in overdose deaths in Oklahoma? Prescription opiates. 85% of the overdose deaths related to prescription drugs involved opiates.
That’s why Narconon Arrowhead, a nonprofit, drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in Canadian, Oklahoma, sees it as part of their mission to reach out to their community and help educate others, especially youth, on the true information on the effects of drugs and alcohol.
Canadian, Oklahoma is a community that has been challenged by drug and alcohol abuse for decades. It has suffered from the negative impacts that alcohol abuse and harder drug use including methamphetamine and crack cocaine can have on a small town.
To help change this dynamic we spent an hour with their bright and gifted high school students to address a common factor found among recovering addicts, which is the lack of education available and provided at different stages in life. It comes as no surprise that most of those addicted to a substance, confirm they started using drugs while in high school or earlier.
This month, we visited a local high school, which, coincidentally, were getting ready for their own Homecoming Dance, for a drug education class made up of about ninety-five students. Narconon staff touched upon three main topics: alcohol abuse, marijuana abuse and its stigma, and finally, methamphetamine use.
Mr. Daniel Kane, the Clinical Director for Narconon Arrowhead, presented information to the students regarding the harmful effects of drugs—mental, physical, and legal as well. And emphasized the facts so that students can make their own informed decisions and healthy choices.
We also promoted treatment for those individuals who are struggling with the negative effects of substance abuse. We highlighted that it is possible to return to a happy and functioning life, and help is out there and is effective.
The high school is a small rural high school, serving about 100 students who appeared attentive and receptive to the presentation. Unfortunately, this area has been greatly affected by substance abuse and our efforts were to save this younger generation from the same trap and break the cycle.