We are working to raise awareness and understanding, reduce the stigma of addiction, provide information about the opioid epidemic and avenues to find resources for help.
Since November, 2017, in collaboration with the FBI and Hennepin County Drug Courts we’ve been able to talk with over 3500 students and 200 educators.
Using a very simple model we’re going into schools and talking with students about the opioid epidemic. Students watch an FBI produced documentary on the opioid epidemic and the next day we provide a “panel” to answer questions they may have and talk about issues surrounding opioid use. The panels are introduced and facilitated by a representative from the FBI and include a local narcotics law enforcement officer, two young people in recovery, and someone who has lost a family member to addiction.
The panel sessions are one hour, provide real-time information with regard to what is happening with the opioid situation in their community, provides information on risks due to pre-disposition, overdose, reversing an overdose with Naloxone, the Good Samaritan Law, and lots of opportunity for questions and answers. The most impactful aspect of the panels comes from the young people in recovery who share their stories of their path into and out of addiction.
Initially the focus has been on 7th and 10th graders. Because earlier panels have been so impactful we’ve been asked to return and provide additional panels for other grades. It’s our goal to reach another 5000 students by the end of the 2017-18 school year.
Currently, the main focus of our efforts creating a new kind of addiction documentary that shows Minnesota teens a perspective on the opioid epidemic they can truly understand. Every penny donated to Change the Outcome directly supports that project. In addition, we’ve planned a fundraiser at Borough Restaurant in Minneapolis to support the film.
Change the Outcome is a 501(c)(3) Non-profit.