Online resource assists in finding addiction rehabilitation locally


By Jody Boulay

Contributing columnist

It seems as if every community, big or small, has been impacted by the problems associated with substance use and drug overdose. Within these communities, these problems extend into the family unit, with people becoming addicted and dying because of drugs.

However, community drug education and prevention programs can be a first line of defense. There is hope for the younger generations as they have more access to prevention and education resources to help them make informed decisions. In addition, more information is available for parents to equip them with the tools to help their kids understand the dangers and risks associated with drugs and alcohol.

Drug education and prevention campaigns take different forms in Ohio, such as online education, in-person education, and resources for individuals, educators, parents, and communities. For example, DREAM, Drug Resilience Education Awareness Mentorship, is a K-12 video series focused on National Health Education Standards.

The Ohio Department of Education and Workforce also operates opioid abuse prevention, with prevention resources for K to 12 students.

Prevention and education information is valuable as it contributes to preventing underage alcohol abuse and recreational drug use. This can be especially vital during Fourth of July celebrations. Binge drinking, for example, around Independence Day is typical, and it is known as one of the heaviest drinking holidays of the year. In social settings, it becomes easy to consume too much alcohol.

According to drug abuse statistics, roughly 17% of Ohio adults over 18 binge drink at least once per month. Annually, there is an average of 5,739 deaths in the state attributed to excessive alcohol use. Approximately 2.63% of people in Ohio who die from excessive alcohol use are under the age of 21.

Parents play an essential role when providing drug education. They can take the initiative to create an inclusive and supportive environment with their children. This can equip them with the tools they need to make knowledgeable decisions surrounding alcohol and drug use.

Teens and adults all use drugs and alcohol for different reasons. Much of their use is linked to peer pressure, whether from peers, in a social setting, or in the case of someone they look up to who they see drinking or using drugs.

Stress is also a common factor, and alcohol or drugs seem like an easy escape from the problems of life.

Additionally, environment and family history are contributing factors. Children, for example, who grow up in households with heavy drinking and recreational drug use are more likely to experiment with drugs.

Any parents wondering what to do should consider starting the conversation about alcohol and drug use early. It is also essential to be calm, loving, and supportive. Seek out specialized resources, such as those offered by county or non-profit organizations providing prevention and education.

Additionally, parents want to focus on making it safe for their children to tell them anything and never end the conversation, keeping it going regardless of age.

Local drug education resources are here to help assist people of all ages in making knowledgeable decisions about drugs and alcohol.

Jody Boulay is the Community Outreach Coordinator for DRS ( . Founded in 2009 by Marcel Gemme, DRS, which stands for Drug Rehab Services, is a family-owned business dedicated to helping people find substance use resources. DRS has compiled one of the largest and most complete directories of drug and alcohol rehabilitation services in the US, accessible completely free of charge. DRS is not a drug rehabilitation center and does not offer direct services.

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