In General News, Press Releases

A series of short videos entitled “Opioids, Alcohol and Athletes” are being distributed to middle and high schools throughout New Mexico as the 2018-2019 school year begins.  The videos, designed to educate students athletes, parents and coaches about the dangers of opioids and alcohol, are a collaborative project of the Bernalillo County Department of Behavioral Health, the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA), the New Mexico Parent Teachers Association (PTA), and Christopher Productions, LLC.

New Mexico’s use of opioids, including use by teens and young adults, has become almost epidemic.  U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson says that the most recent New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (2015) reflected that 14.3% of students in grades 9 to 12 used prescription drugs without a prescription.  The survey also reflected that 26.1% of students in grades 9 to 12 were current drinkers, with 20% having had their first drinks before age 13, and 19.7% having ridden with a drinking driver.  U.S. Attorney Anderson said, “These are sobering facts that parents need to be aware of as their teenagers are returning to school.”

The “Opioids, Alcohol and Athletes” Project involved teens, parents, coaches and experts in creating a DVD with seven short videos for use in presentations to student athletes, parents and coaches.  Three of the videos are specifically oriented for the high school level and two are for middle school level.  The Bernalillo County Department of Behavioral Health funded the Project, and Christopher Productions, LLC, produced the videos, which are being distributed statewide with the help of the NMAA.

“Combatting the opioid epidemic is a priority for Bernalillo County, and when it comes to kids, it hits close to home for many of us,” said Bernalillo County Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins.  “For some young athletes, the prescription pain medication they’ve been prescribed for sports injuries starts the tragic slide into opioid addiction.  During the 20 years my kids were involved in organized youth sports, I never once saw anything warning players or parents about the risks associated with the prescription painkillers used in treating sports injuries.  This information needs to be shared with every student athlete and every parent because it can save lives.”

Chris Schueler, President of Christopher Productions, LLC, says, “Having worked on the opioid issue for over six years through our ‘No Exceptions’ Program, it is tremendously encouraging to see these partners engaging youth and parents in such a significant way.  The distribution of this DVD to middle and high schools throughout the state will make a difference in the battle against this disease of addiction.”

*release courtesy of Christopher Schueler

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