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334 Prevention Project working to educate on drug overdose awareness

Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 7:47 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Tuesday is International Drug Awareness day, but the 334 Prevention Project works year round on drug abuse prevention. Leaders tell News 4 it starts with education.

In 2020 the nation saw a continued increase in drug overdoses, setting a record of more than 94,000 deaths. According to the CDC, more than 60 percent of these deaths Fentanyl was involved.

Dana Bonney, 334 Prevention Project Executive Director, said Fentanyl is the biggest issue, calling it “the weapon of mass destruction.”

“I would say to parents of middle schoolers, high schoolers, and college aged students, we’re not battling the same drugs that we were when we were in school,” Bonney said. “It’s a whole new ball game and this knows now boundaries, what we’re facing.”

Bonney said their mission is now more important than ever, and Julie Dobbs, Community Outreach Coordinator, agrees.

“Even people who don’t think they have a problem, sometimes they have a problem and it’s kind of that silent use where people don’t want to openly admit that they have this issue going on and it can affect anyone from your 13 year old child to your 85 year old grandmother and it’s something that a lot of people don’t talk about because they don’t think they have an issue,” Dobbs said.

334 Prevention Project is gearing up for youth council for this year, working to partner with local high school students. These students will be educated on leadership and will volunteer for community events through the organization.

Bonney said this year they are setting the bar high and are working to do as much as they can, she said everyone can do something.

They are working to kick off a Red Ribbon Campaign, hoping to get entire community involved, from churches, families, government agents, law enforcement and schools. Dobbs said this initiative is for anyone who wants to show a unified, drug free Wiregrass.

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