While substance abuse is a major concern nationwide, some areas of the country have been more affected than others. Too many residents of Wilkes County, North Carolina, have experienced the pain of seeing a loved one succumb to drug addiction. To address this harrowing trend, members of the community came together to form a non-profit organization – Project Lazarus – dedicated to spreading awareness and curbing the tide of substance abuse.
The group was found in 2008 in response to the state's high rate of drug overdoses – most of which, its official website states, can be attributed to prescription drug use. According to the Wilkes Journal-Patriot, Project Lazarus most recently helped a group of high school students design and unveil a billboard addressing the dangers of prescription drug abuse. The teenagers, who attend Wilkes Central High School, are all members of a substance abuse prevention group called Students Standing for Something (SSS) – an idea that stemmed from a teacher's senior project.
The efforts of the SSS are not simply targeted to teens who may be tempted to use prescription drugs, or who have seen their friends take up the destructive habit. The source notes that the campaigns launched by the SSS and Project Lazarus in general are also geared toward students who may be concerned about their parents or other loved ones.
"We have resources online and in the larger community of western North Carolina to help students. But it is hard for students when it is their own parents or other adults that they care about, " explained Dana Zacharias of Project Lazarus.
Though rates of substance abuse in Wilkes County have declined in recent years, many young adults are still using prescription drugs recreationally. If someone you care for has become addicted to pills, a professional interventionist can help. We offer youth intervention services specifically devised to address drug and alcohol addiction in teens.