Video “Dear Future Me” by the Manchester Valley girls basketball team is expected to serve as an inspiration for the youth, teens and other athletes to stay away from harmful substances, says team coach Heather DeWees. She reiterated that there is life beyond drugs and alcohol, and one can succeed in life without depending on them. The video was premiered at Carroll County in Maryland at the Carroll Arts Center on May 14 as part of the National Prevention Week (NPW).
Every year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) observes the NPW to educate public about mental health issues and substance abuse prevention mechanisms. This year, the week will be observed from May 13 to May 19, with the theme being “Action Today. Healthier Tomorrow.” During this week, SAMHSA and other health organizations will be organizing various events to raise awareness about the importance of good mental health and staying away from substances.
Players can serve as role models for young girls
Coach DeWees considers the video her “biggest victory,” as all the 11 girls of the team are clean and their participation in the campaign was absolutely voluntary. They could serve as role models for young girls who often give in to peer pressure or do drugs to look cool. If the girls in the video could say no to drugs and alcohol, so could the others when caught in a similar situation.
Senior captain of the team Mackenzie DeWees wanted to be a part of the campaign because she was keen to help her community. She also wanted to send the message across the girls of her age that drowning oneself in substances affects their future and diminishes their chances of living a healthy and productive life. Through her participation, DeWees hopes to influence the youth in making more informed choices.
Highlighting the importance of the campaign, substance abuse prevention supervisor with the Carroll County Health Department Linda Auerback said that the campaign was important for adults and kids alike. While it brought adults face-to-face with what their children could be doing, the video sent out positive messages to adolescents. According to her, an adult could lecture and preach but children are more likely to pay heed if they get to hear from someone from their own age group.
Overcoming substance abuse menace among youth is possible
Teens commonly experiment with drugs and alcohol. However, their experimentation can often lead to unintended outcomes, with them getting dependent and addicted to substances. Constant use of the substances also increases the chance of developing emotional or behavioral problems.
In case, someone gets addicted to alcohol or any other form of substance, it is best to join an addiction clinic that offers 12-step program for addiction. Some of the best drug rehabs incorporate programs designed specifically for teens and adolescents. Remember, recovery is possible only if one puts in his/her best efforts.
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