Tualatin Together & LEAP Youth Alliance team-up for National Prevention Week

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Substance misuse among students has become an increasing issue in recent years. Due to high levels of stress and many other factors, youth are often compelled to turn to substances for relief. This is why Tualatin Together, and their student partnership, LEAP Youth Alliance, have planned a multitude of activities for National Prevention Week (NPW) that will engage the community and provide opportunities for education to support our community. 

LEAP, a student organization that is part of Tualatin Together, focuses on substance misuse prevention and promoting community health as a whole. Working mainly in a high school environment, LEAP recognizes the importance of education and stress management when it comes to prevention. 

National Prevention Week begins May 7 and goes through May 13. This national event focuses on education surrounding substance misuse and mental health. Prevention Week is an opportunity for LEAP to promote healthy behaviors and safe coping mechanisms for those dealing with stress. It is important that we as a community recognize the struggles of individuals dealing with substance misuse, educate ourselves to provide support, and make healthy decisions for ourselves. Prevention Week offers an opportunity for people around the country to promote healthy choices for themselves and their communities. “Prevention week to me and the others in LEAP is all about making sure kids make the choices that are healthiest and safest for them.” Says Lily Story, Vice President of LEAP. 

Tualatin Together and LEAP are making a point to be involved in NPW Prevention Week this year. For Prevention Week 2023, LEAP has plans to involve the Tualatin High School community in a multitude of activities that promote healthy coping mechanisms and positive mental health. Wednesday, May 10, is National Fentanyl Awareness Day. A naloxone pop-up event has been organized with the goal of educating people about naloxone and how it can be used to save lives. Naloxone is a medication that rapidly reverses the effects of an opioid overdose and is very important when responding to emergency situations. 

Along with this, LEAP helped to organize a screening of the film, The First Day Film. This movie will be shown on Thursday, May 11, in the Tualatin High School Commons. The film details basketball phenom Chris Herren’s journey overcoming addiction and his work with youth to prevent underage substance use. Chris Herren has been hosted by Tualatin Together twice in the past five years. Youths in 5th grade and up are encouraged to attend this event. Childcare, food, and translation services will all be available. The food and vendor fair will begin at 6:00 PM, and the film will start at 6:55 PM. Following the movie, Carrie Bates will guide the community conversation addressing why youth choose to use for the first time and what we as a community can do to protect youth, such as talking with them, setting clear expectations, and making it okay to ask for help when they need it. 

To learn more about Tualatin Together or LEAP and to register for the Chris Herren event, please visit our website at www.tualatintogether.org.

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