Celebrate Radio Network's Weekly Reaching Up to Focus on Substance Abuse as a Major Cause of Violence in America

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In most media discussion of the triggers to violence in America, there has been silence about the causative effects of epidemic substance abuse. Celebrate Radio and its weekly Reaching Up series will concentrate on this cause as well as mental illness and the proliferation of guns in interviews and psas and help get sponsorship for Teen-Anon youth recovery groups.

In the wake of the horrific December and earlier mass shootings and the national discussion on violence as well as mental health, Celebrate Radio is seeking to get a major factor, substance abuse, much more widely discussed.

It has also started helping Teen-Anon, a 12 year old and still the only national 12-step addiction recovery fellowship for youth to expand to dozens more cities where it is needed and sought after by teens, their siblings and parents.

The non-profit and the broadcaster together will produce radio psas on teen addiction and on volunteering to help youth recover from substance abuse and promote the need for more groups in hundreds of cities that have none and even in cities with a single Teen-Anon group. The psas will be available to any radio station requesting them.

Teen-Anon, as was Celebrate Radio, was started by veteran broadcaster and Celebrate Radio host Don Fass after he was at Columbine the week of the massacre there in 1999. The first groups began within a year and also established a comprehensive youth recovery website at http://www.teen-anon.com

Fass noted that, “In most parts of the country, there still is no place for teens to either seek affordable substance abuse treatment or even if in treatment, the necessary 12-step aftercare. Teens aren't engaged by or going to 12-step groups for adults they have nothing in common with. Funders seem somewhat interested in funding adult treatments but are totally unconcerned with teen drug use wrecking families and growing into adult use. In the discussion of causes of violence, particularly after the Newtown Connecticut tragedy, there is talk about guns and mental health but virtually no mention of alcohol and other drug abuse."

According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) statistics, drug use is not appreciably down among youth; each year they, like adults, just change the drugs of preference. Heroin use is now rebounding and prescription pain killers like oxycontin are 'off the charts,' while meth and cocaine continue in abundance. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse and other experts, stimulant use often leads to violent acts and delusional thinking out of paranoia while high or in an effort to stay high. Coming down from any drug causes depression and can lead to psychotic episodes or trigger otherwise dormant mental illness including schizoprenia and sociopathy.

"Getting off drugs involves not only sobriety, but also learning new behavior, including new coping mechanisms, injecting hope into their lives and facing and changing the reality of their lives," says Fass, "And it is vital youth tackle recovery and sobriety with a peer group of other youth. It's also vital that alcohol and other drug abuse become a major part of the discussion about gun and other violence."

Dr. Ken C. Waters, Director of the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research at the University of Minnesota, writing in 2012 for the national Drug Free Partnership says that, "Drug involvement by youth at the early stages routinely involves the emergence of significant social and psychological consequences that merit early detection and referral to non-intensive treatments."

For those wishing to fund more groups or start them in a city, or fund the distribution of radio psas nationally, they may connect with either http://www.celebrateradio.com/ or http://www.teen-anon.com/

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