SB Opioid Awareness Project Mission
The South Bay Opioid Awareness project was created in 2017 with the intention of educating South Bay teens, parents, teachers, and administrators about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and abuse, and to start a conversation that encourages safe use, storage, and disposal of prescription drugs to keep them out of the hands of kids. It was kicked off with #SBOpioidAwarenessWeek in partnership with numerous area schools and organizations. Please scroll down to see a full description of SB Opioid Awareness Week, 2017. We invite everyone to join us in becoming a part of the solution.
If You or Your Teen Need Help, the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids offers a free parent helpline 1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373) that is staffed by counselors who can help guide families to local treatment options.
What Parents Should Know: Opioid Abuse and Addiction Can Happen to Anyone and In Any Home
South Bay resident, Cyndi Strand, SBFC Ambassador, blogger and speaker shares her reflections on the loss of her son, Justin, due to opioid addiction. The full three-part series of Cyndi's story is currently in production. Addiction and loss can happen even in the most loving and supportive South Bay families.
Why are Opioids So Addictive?
Watch this two minute video produced by the Associated Press to better understand how Opioids can trigger addiction and abuse in anyone at any age, even those without a genetic predisposition.
A National Crisis
Clicking on the image below will take you to the website for this HBO documentary as well as a helpful resource page.
This Wall Street Journal video chronicles the devastating impact of opioid abuse. This is the story of four families touched by the epidemic.
A Critical Call to Action for Parents
To all who have teens and young adults visiting their home, you can make a difference in the opioid abuse epidemic with two simple actions: lock-up your prescription meds and dispose of expired and un-needed prescriptions at any of the local locations listed below.
Below is a list of permanent Rx drop-off locations throughout the South Bay. Please check your local police department for scheduled Rx round-up drop offs.
Lomita Safe Drug Drop-off Sheriff Station (L.A. County Sheriff's Dept.) at 26123 Narbonne Ave., Lomita, CA 90717; (310) 329-2277 (Note: safe, anonymous drug drop-off boxes are available 24 hrs/day, 7 days/week in front of the office)
Carson Safe Drug Drop-off Sheriff Station (L.A. County Sheriff's Dept.), 21356 South Avalon Blvd., Carson, CA 90745; (310) 830-1123 (Note: safe, anonymous drug drop-off boxes are available 24 hrs/day, 7 days/week in front of the office)
S.A.F.E. Collection Center, 1400 N. Gaffey St., San Pedro, CA 90731; 1-800-988-6942 (Note: site is open Saturdays and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Closed holidays and rainy days)
EDCO Recycling and Transfer Center, 2755 California Ave., Signal Hill, CA 90807 (Note: site is open the 2nd Saturday of every month from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Lock bags like this one were given out by the Thelma McMillen Center during the SB Opioid Awarenss Event at Peninsula High School, May 2017. This lock bag is available online at Amazon.com
SB Opioid Awareness Week 2017 events included:
On May 16, Peninsula High School hosted a community screening of the short film "If Only" followed by a panel discussion.
Principal Mitzi Cress, SBFC Inspiration Award winner, welcomed 150 parents to the event before showing a personalized video from Mark Wahlberg, followed by a screening of "If Only" and panel discussion with James Wahlberg, Dr. Moe Gelbart, and Cyndi Strand. The event was co-organized with Mark Wiedenmann, Principal Chadwick School.
Thelma McMillen Center provided Rx lock bags to the first fifty attendees, and Karl and Carol McMillen, in attendance, were honored by Mitzi Cress during her remarks. Warren Lichtenstein was thanked for funding James Wahlberg's travel to attend the screening event. South Bay Families Connected was acknowldeged for helping with speaker coordination and event promotion, as well as for creating and organizing SB Opioid Awareness week throughout the South Bay.
Below, Cyndi Strand, South Bay parent, shares her family's story of the tragic loss of her son due to opioid addiction.
On May 17 at 7:00 at Hermosa Valley Middle School, the South Bay Families Connected and Beach Cities Health Speaker Series hosted, "Teen Substance Abuse in the South Bay: What Every Parent Should Know."
Joan Stein Jenkins, Manhattan Beach Prosecuting Attorney, and Captain Milton McKinnon of the Hermosa Beach Police Department shared what is trending in the South Bay, including opioid use and abuse, followed by a Q and A attended by over 60 parents.
Joan Stein Jenkins, Manhattan Beach Prosecuting Attorney, and Captain Milton McKinnon of the Hermosa Beach Police Department shared what is trending in the South Bay, including opioid use and abuse, followed by a Q and A attended by over 60 parents. Parents were then directed to SouthBayFamiliesConnected.org to view prevention videos, to find opioid safe drop off locations, and to stay informed by subscribing to the free monthly SBFC e-newsletter.
To see event photos and updates, including student assemblies at participating schools, please visit the South Bay Families Connected Facebook page. #SBopioidawarenessweek.
Student Screenings of the film, "If Only" and discussion events took place at:
Palos Verdes Peninsula High School
Mira Costa High School
Thank you to the following schools for sharing Opioid Awareness Week events with their parents, students and staff:
Bishop Montgomery High School
San Pedro High School
Torrance High School
West Torrance High School
Redondo Union High School
The Shores High School
Rolling HIlls Prep and Renaissance School
Rolling Hills Country Day School
Vista Mar School
Rancho Del Mar High School, Rolling Hills
Mary Star High School
Thank you to our 2017 Opioid Awareness Week partners for the following:
The Mark Wahlberg Foundation for making "If Only" available for screening
James Wahlberg for presenting at the May 16 event
Warren Lichetenstein and Steel Partners for funding James' travel
Mitzi Cress and Peninsula High School for funding the special audio visual equipment for the event, as well as staffing and hosting it
Mark Wiedenmann, Principal Chadwick School, for outreach to other area schools for promotion of Opioid Awareness Week
Thelma McMillen Center for funding the opioid lock bag give-away, and to Dr. Moe Gelbart, Executive Director, for presenting at the screening event.
Cyndi Strand, Founder of Blankets of Love South Bay, for presenting at the screening event
Beach Cities Health District for printing promotional flyers for both the May 16th and 17th events, as well as co-sponsoring the SBFC Speaker Series event at Hermosa Valley Middle School.
LSM Communications, LLC, for donating the creation and production of SB Opioid Awareness week, including the web page creation, multiple location event coordination, promotional material, social media management, event registration, and advertising to South Bay Families Connected
Please Join Us in 2018!
All South Bay Schools are encouraged to join in this effort. Next year SB Opioid Awareness Week will take place the week of April 23rd.