Despite the best efforts of doctors, psychologists, teachers and politicians, drug addiction and alcoholism among our youth continues to soar, there are 2.5 Million alcohol related deaths worldwide annually, 320,000 of those being young people, ages 15-29 years of age. At Stopb4ustart, we asked ourselves what we could do to make an impact? Opening another recovery home or rehabilitation center are very effective modes of treatment but only address the problem after the fact. At Stopb4ustart, we asked ourselves what we could do to make an impact? We wanted our focus to be on prevention as opposed to rehabilitation.
Our mission statement at Stopb4ustarts is: “We are a movement that empowers individuals to stop using drugs and alcohol before they start.” What exactly does that mean and what are we doing to facilitate abstinence amongst our youth?
The first 8 months after the birth of Stopb4ustart, we developed a documentary outlining the feelings that arise in teens which are most likely to lead to drinking & using. Our film highlights the progression of alcoholism and addiction as told by recovering addicts and alcoholics, themselves. Our interviewees discuss what ultimately happens as a result of excessive and continued use of these substances. The film is powerful and runs for 36 minutes.
Upon completion, we showed the documentary to a crowd of over 600 people and it was well received in our local community and media. Many articles written about the viewing, but more importantly many contacts were made opening the door to other opportunities to show the film and speak to high school students.
Stopb4ustart was created as a communication tool for those on the verge of or already dabbling in drugs and alcohol and to open up the discussion with teens and parents in a non-judgmental way. Our main goal is to get teens to open up about the things that could lead to alcoholism and addiction: peer pressure, family problems, bullying, and not fitting in are things that can lead a young person down the path of addiction
In early November we were invited to Capistrano Valley High School in Orange County to not only show the Film, but to speak directly to students for Red Ribbon Week. We spent 3 days at the High School; every day the auditorium was packed to capacity and again was covered by the media including the Orange County Register which is the most circulated newspaper in Orange County. The Capistrano Unified School District has asked us to put together an event specifically for the parents to talk about this same topic. They have also asked if we could put together a curriculum for the school which could pave the way for this topic of being or more permanent part of High School education experience. We are excited about this opportunity and can’t wait to share more about Stopb4ustart and how it develops over the coming weeks and months.
Several weeks ago, we were contacted by the San Luis Obispo School District to again show the documentary and speak to the students. Our founder, Danny Murphy is headed north this coming week 11/16 through 11/18 to bring our film and message to the students in Central California. We hope to open up discussions about the possibility of putting together a curriculum for the San Luis Obispo School District as well.
It is an exciting task to be able to help young people and their families to stop before they start using drugs and alcohol. As our organization continues to grow and help others, we look forward to sharing our stories of redemption and the impact StopB4UStart is making on people’s lives.
Thank you and please visit our website at www.stopb4ustart.org