TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) – A Tuscaloosa-based nonprofit is about to debut some changes after months of revamping and reorganizing it’s anti-alcohol and drug programs. PRIDE of Tuscaloosa, which stands for Parents’ Resource Institute for Drug Education, has been in the community since 1986, but recently, board members decided they could and needed to make a bigger impact on young people.
New Executive Director, Derek Osborn signed on in October of 2013. Since then, Osborn and the board have been figuring out where they want to take the program. PRIDE’s goal is to educate young people, and help them to make informed decisions. PRIDE has had programs in the schools in the past, like assemblies for high school students that detail the meaning of addiction. However Osborn acknowledges that the problems can start much sooner, which is why he wants to begin awareness, earlier.
“Twelfth graders, it’s over 1 and 3 right that have used some alcohol in the past 30 days, and Tuscaloosa is just slightly above that average,” Osborn explains. “Not a whole lot, but you’re talking about 1 and 3 kids that are using alcohol on a regular basis.” Osborn says that drugs and alcohol are becoming more prevalent, and that children are exposed to them through a variety of mediums at younger ages than they were in the past.
In March, PRIDE will go into the Tuscaloosa County School system with it’s new, “Have a Little Pride” campaign. The campaign is geared towards third-graders and decisions they can make towards healthy lifestyle choices. Osborn says the program will include classroom interaction and take-home materials, like coloring books, where parents can get involved in the conversation. Obsorn hopes to get the city schools system involved soon.
To learn more about PRIDE and for information on how you can make a difference, visit and “like” their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/prideoftuscaloosa
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