July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Learn more here.
Drug Free Manatee is excited to continue serving the youth in Manatee County with the Youth In Action (YIA), Drug Free Youth (D-FY), and NEW “Future Me” programs.
This year in 2020 Drug Free Manatee will begin implementing the “Future Me” initiative in the effort to educate, inspire and engage middle school, high school, and college students. High School students will educate and mentor middle school students, college students will educate and mentor high school students as to how they can manifest their future self that is positive, happy, healthy & drug-free. Cultivating a community where the students feel a sense of responsibility, belonging and purpose to help others in the “Future Me” program can empower young people from middle school through college to make educated and healthy decisions.
Youth In Action (YIA)
YIA begins each year in September with a CADCA-led National Youth Leadership training for 70+ students and faculty advisers from six area high schools. Drug Free Manatee currently oversees Manatee H.S, Bayshore H.S, SCF-CS, Southeast H.S, Lakewood Ranch H.S, Braden River H.S YIA clubs. Using the Strategic Prevention Framework each school is responsible throughout the school year to develop strategies to impact youth, create school-specific media campaigns, events etc. Starting in 2020, Southeast High School is partnering with the UNIDOS Now College readiness club to ensure that all prevention initiatives are culturally competent and impactful to a diverse population. YIA clubs hold regular meetings after school and can earn community service hours for some events that they participate in. Drug Free Manatee holds a Mid-Year Training Day for all area high school YIA teams to collaborate, learn new prevention strategies, and to HAVE FUN! is a safe place to learn and grow as young people with a strong support system that will empower you to help yourself make positive decisions and help others along your journey as well.
Drug Free Youth (D-FY)
Drug-Free Youth, or D-Fy, is an organization of peers who share the commitment to make positive choices and live a healthy, drug-free life. Members are eligible to receive local discounts and attend special D-Fy events. There may also be opportunities to receive volunteer hours, graduation cords, hiring preference, and internships. We are proud to announce that as of March 2020 SCF-CS has 100% of their Youth In Action club as D-FY Members! Congratulations SCF-CS! If you are in Youth In Action, D-FY membership is a rewards program for your positive decision making. Please ask your advisor or contact Drug Free Manatee to sign up.
Joining D-Fy is FREE! Applicants must be ages 13-18 (or still in school) and must complete a membership application at sign-up events. The application includes the student’s commitment to be alcohol, tobacco (including E-cigs) and drug free. All members validate this commitment though a confidential drug screening when they join, and verify their commitment to STAY drug free though random screenings throughout their membership. Once the application is validated, members receive a photo ID card. This card allows them to gain entrance at member-only events and receive discounts at local businesses and retailers.
If you would like to learn more about any of these programs please contact:
941-748-4501 Ext. 3477
If you are a student, below are the advisors for each high school we serve. Please reach out to Drug Free Manatee or your advisor to join TODAY!
SCF-CS: Melissa Bailey
Lakewood Ranch High School: Megan Storm
Manatee High School: Terrace Dunbar
Southeast High School: Rochelle Banach
Braden River High School: Erik Nelson
Bayshore High School: Annette Sandin
Let's work together so that drugs and alcohol do not keep us from achieving our goals!
¡Trabajemos juntos para que las drogas y el alcohol no nos impidan alcanzar nuestras metas!
Handle With Care is an initiative aimed at helping children succeed in school by alerting school staff with a simple notice when a student experiences a
traumatic event involving law enforcement or Child Protection Services (CPS).
Officers at the scene of the event are trained to identify the chil- dren present, find out what school they attend and send the school a confidential email that simply says, “Handle [child’s name] with Care.” The memo will not provide any other details in order to protect the family’s privacy.
Handle with Care notices are provided to school principals, nurses, guidance counselors/social workers, School Resource Officers (SROs) and teachers on a need-to-know basis. Often children involved in trauma may act out because they don’t know how to handle the ordeal. This can range from not partici- pating in class, to exhibiting an- ger or even physical pain like a headache or stomachache. Many of these children are considered drug-endangered and have been exposed to criminal behavior, violence, loss of par- ents to arrest and incarceration, abuse and neglect as well as oth- er trauma from all they have experienced.
Regardless of the source of trauma, the common thread is the school. Research shows that trauma can undermine a child’s ability to learn, form relationships and function appropriately in the classroom. It often leads
to school failure, truancy, sus- pension or expulsion, dropping out completely or involvement in the juvenile justice system.
Through the DEC Taskforce, huge strides have been made to assist children exposed to violence by improving communi- cation and collaboration between law enforcement, schools, CPS and mental health providers. Handle With Care - Florida is coordinated by Drug Free Manatee. For information:
Handle with Care is a proven, low-cost way to protect vulnerable children from the effects of childhood adverse experiences
KNOW THE LAW
Drug Free Manatee, in partnership with the School District of Manatee County (SDMC) and law enforcement agencies including Manatee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), Bradenton Police Department (BPD) and Palmetto Police Department (PPD), provides a curriculum to Manatee County students and their families called Know the Law.
Know the Law is a booklet containing a condensed representation of Florida laws including those ordinances and statutes specific to Manatee County. The information is accompanied by a short presentation by a School Resource Officer (SRO), who then provides students with an opportunity to engage in discussion about the booklet and crime prevention,
The idea is that students make better decisions when they understand the ramifications of their choices. SROs are tasked with the delivery of the curriculum not only to develop the relationship between them and their students, but also establish them as a trusted resource within the school.
Know the Law is usually provided to students in 7th and 9th grade with some variance depending on the school. While it’s designed for delivery in a single class (45 min for middle school and 90 minutes for high school), some schools have opted to expand that time frame. Students are given a pre and post test which records the knowledge they gained from the program.
The Know the Law booklet goes home with students so it can also serve as a parent guide for discussing decision-making and consequences with the children.
Drug Free Manatee deeply appreciates the efforts of trained SROs who provide Know the Law in the classroom, as well as our community partner, Centerstone of Florida, whose trained staff also provides classroom instruction for Know the Law.
If you would like materials to promote these programs or learn about ways you can partipate in community projects, consider Drug Free Manatee a valuable resource.
Drug Free Manatee’s Parents Who Host, Lose the Most campaign educates parents about the health and safety risks of providing alcohol to teenagers while increasing awareness of, and compliance with, underage drinking laws.
The public awareness program, which has been implemented in all 50 states, targets celebratory times for youth such as homecoming, holidays, prom, and graduation.
Through its Alcohol Task Force, Drug Free Manatee has provided Parents Who Host educational materials, community engagement strategies, and planning tools to parents and community members so they can mobilize, partner, and share the message that teenage alcohol consumption is unacceptable and serving to minors has serious consequences. These materials include flyers, banners and a media campaign advertising House Party, a public service announcement (PSA) Drug Free Manatee produced based on the principles of Parents Who Host.
Drug Free Manatee has also provided high schools with banners to display at their school and gives out flyers and rack cards at community events.
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Addiction Crisis Taskforce (ACT)
Manatee County is in an opioid overdose crisis. Drug Free Manatee convened ACT to address this complex problem through a multi-faceted approach and collaboration between the Coalition, public health, clinical medicine and public safety at every level, recognizing that no one agency or organization acting alone has the capacity to significantly impact the problem. Current local efforts by ACT span eight domains that address the primary drivers of abuse and overdose: surveillance, drug abuse prevention, patient and public education, provider education, clinical practice tools, regulatory and oversight activities, drug abuse treatment, and overdose prevention.
Alcohol Task Force (ATF)
Drug Free Manatee convened an Alcohol Task Force in October 2012 that includes Coalition staff, community representatives from law enforcement, retail vendors, alcohol distributors, festival organizers, recovery community, parents, school district and youth. The Task Force is charged specifically to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate Underage Drinking prevention initiatives.
Prescription Drug Task Force
The Prescription Drug Task Force focuses on safety and wellness concerns related to practitioners-prescribed medications. This includes initiatives addressing safe prescribing (Practitioner Education), safe storage and disposal (Secure, Monitor, Dispose; Drug Drop Kiosks, Spring Cleaning, DEA Take Back events), and diversion prevention.
Emerging Issues Task Force
The Emerging Trends Task Force focuses on identifying substances of abuse that have the potential to become a threat to the well-being of our residents. Environmental strategies for prevention are then developed and implemented in an effort to stay ahead of the problems facing our community.
Drug Free Manatee formed a taskforce in 2017 dedicated to reducing the number of SEN, or in utero opioid dependency, born in Manatee County.
Nationally, the number of babies born with an opioid dependence called with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) has increased five-fold (2002-2012). That means one NAS baby is born every 25 minutes in the U.S. and the care associated with their condition results in a $1.5 billion annual price tag, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH).
More concerning to Drug Free Manatee is that Manatee County ranks 10th in the state where the increase in babies born with NAS is ten times what it was ten years ago, according to the Agency For Health Care Administration (AHCA).
NAS babies have a difficult time at birth due to opioid withdrawal. Symptoms include: convulsions, tremors, fever, poor appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and disturbed sleep.
Neonatal medical staff that serve on the NAS Task Force described NAS in detail, emphasizing the pain and suffering the babies experience during drug withdrawal syndrome.
Despite this alarming trend, as of 2016, only 19 states had drug treatment programs specifically targeting pregnant women with only 12 providing expecting mothers priority access to state-funded drug treatment programs. Currently the standard treatment option has been to give pregnant women suffering from opioid addiction medication assisted treatment.
Not all of babies suffering from NAS are born to mothers who are using illegal drugs. In fact, of the babies born with NAS, two thirds are born to mothers using legal prescription drugs.
The taskforce meets monthly to identify and implement “best practice” strategies to 1) prevent/reduce the number of NAS babies being born in Manatee County, 2) reduce the number of substance use disorder women who get pregnant, and 3) create partnerships that support programs for NAS mothers.
The NAS taskforce usually meets on the last Monday of the month at the Manatee County Administration Building, (1112 Manatee Ave. W. Bradenton 34205 in the Manatee Room). It is chaired by Katie Powers R.N., Perinatal Educator at Manatee Memorial Hospital (MMH) and Lauren Blenker, Communications Manager at Healthy Start Manatee.
Please complete the following steps and contact us if you have any questions.
First, study the “Safe Festival Training” presentation. Click here to view.
Then, take the Safe Festival Quiz. You must score a 70% or higher to pass. Click here to open the quiz.
Finally, pick up your ID scanners for use at your festival. (NOTE: You must first complete the quiz to be eligible to use ID scanners.)
ID Scanners may be picked up at…
Drug Free Manatee
Manatee County Government Administration Building
1112 Manatee Avenue W, Suite 303
Bradenton, FL 34205
…during business hours/Mon-Fri 8:30 – 4:30 p.m.
You are responsible for assuring that alcohol is not served to those under the age of 21. We can make it easier for you by providing scanners. Just complete the training course and stop by for scanners. DO THE RIGHT THING.