Lexington government along with a number of public and private groups are supporting a new drug prevention program. Mayor Linda Gorton announced the partnership Monday to implement “Full Energy, No Drugs” or FEND. It’s an app-based opioid education and prevention campaign for teenagers.
Dr. Jacquii Burgess is director of the Preventum Initiative. “So, we’re more about giving kids the information rather than preaching at them, so that they can be empowered to take on that information to not only look after themselves, but to keep their friends and family safe,” said Burgess.
The FEND app, which will be freely available in the Apple and Google Play stores, will reward youth for using it with gift vouchers, streetwear, concert tickets, athletic events, and other experiences. Participants accumulate points to use for prizes.
FEND Community Coordinator Devine Carama said in addition to peer pressure, there are other reasons youth seek drug induced highs. “A lot of times these kids are dealing with some type of trauma that leads them to want that feeling. So, we’re also promoting different services that can help them with that trauma, whether it’s art, whether it’s music, whether it’s mental health specialists,” noted Carama.
FEND is funded through private donations, grants, and corporate sponsorships. The mayor’s Community Response Strategist Andrea James said there is substantial grant money available for treatment and recovery, but not as much for primary prevention.
WEKU's Stu Johnson spoke with Devine Carama following the Monday news conference:
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