Local Young Adults Take on Opioid Epidemic Through RAYSAC

With the rising rates of drug overdoses, life saving Narcan use, and hepatitis C, the opioid epidemic is ripping through our community. Opioid misuse and heroin abuse is a huge problem in the Roanoke Valley. Four times as many people died from an opioid, heroin and cocaine overdose in Roanoke in 2017 compared to the year before^([1]).

RAYSAC and its youth and young adult groups are actively working to fight this crisis in the Roanoke Valley. One way they are doing this is through their poster and social media campaign, beinthepicture.org, which just re-launched on July 9, 2018 and will run through the end of October. This campaign is designed to educate 12-25 year olds residing in the Valley about the dangers of opioid abuse and heroin use. A variety of resources and information can be found on this site.

Youth and young adults have an opportunity to create a better tomorrow for their friends, their family and their neighborhoods. One way to get involved is by joining the R.E.A.L. (RAYSAC Empowered Activist Leaders) Team or Y.A.A.T. (Young Adult Action Team). Both of theses teams are working hard to find ways to combat the opioid epidemic.

The R.E.A.L. Team is made up of high school students from around the valley. These individuals focus on building a stronger foundation of youth participation in the community by helping to decrease youth substance abuse though youth-led events and communication.

The Young Adult Action Team is for individuals ages 18 and older that want to make a positive impact on their community. The team focuses on prevention efforts surrounding the opioid epidemic in the Roanoke Valley. The Young Adult Action Team is currently reaching out to veterinarians to educate them on the risks that opioids have and how they could affect their clientele.

Both the R.E.A.L. Team and the Young Adult Action Team are actively recruiting members. If you or someone you know would like to join the cause and help combat the opioid epidemic, please contact Tracey Coltrain at [email protected] or Sheila Lythgoe at [email protected]. Both can be reached at 540-982-1427.

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