The National Drug and Alcohol Screening Association, SwabTek®, a leading producer of drug detection technologies, the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) and Law Enforcement Against Drugs and Violence (L.E.A.D) have joined forces in a new initiative to help educators, parents and community leaders protect the nation’s youth from the rising threat of fentanyl, according to a news release.
The alliance, named the Guardian Coalition, will provide proactive resources such as educational programming, narcotics detection technology and drug prevention training to communities across the country so they can better understand and meet the evolving threats of the opioid epidemic.
Coalition members have pooled resources and tools to develop a unique approach to protecting youth from fentanyl. Its offerings aim to address the vulnerabilities in existing harm reduction programming that have left youth exposed to the worsening opioid epidemic, and resulted in the recent increase in adolescent drug overdose deaths.
“The danger that fentanyl poses to youth is an evolving threat, and community leaders lack the vital training and supplies necessary to meaningfully address this problem. As a result, youth have never been in greater danger of lethal narcotics poisoning than they are today,” said Bobby Betros, CEO of SwabTek. “We believe that an essential first step in protecting our communities is educating teachers, school administrators, parents, and community leaders. It is imperative to empower these entrusted adults with proactive tools and resources to address the threat of drugs before they even reach the hands of youth where they have the potential to cause significant harm.”
The organizations making up the coalition member are global leaders in drug detection and prevention and offer unique contributions to the alliance’s programming. SwabTek is a provider of narcotics detection technology, enabling educators and parents to immediately and safely identify the presence of dangerous drugs of abuse such as fentanyl and other opioids. NASRO is the world’s leader in school-based policing, providing specialized training and resources to school-based law enforcement, administrators, and campus security professionals. NDASA’s members specialize in safe, thorough, and reliable drug detection, and deliver valuable prevention and remediation education to communities across the country. L.E.A.D. provides evidence-based training programs to enable law enforcement to better partner with educators, community leaders, and families to deter youth and adults from drug use and drug-related crimes.
The Coalition’s “Guardian Action Program” is currently available nationwide and is intended to complement existing drug prevention programs. The program consists of a three-step roadmap to educating and equipping school staff and security personnel:
1. Narcotics Identification Technology – School administrators, safety personnel, and parents will be equipped with technology to identify fentanyl on school property and in student belongings proactively. Technologies like SwabTek’s Fentanyl Test Kit can help staff immediately identify fentanyl and other dangerous narcotics in pills, powders, vape pens, and residues — enabling proactive and decisive action when facing the threat of fentanyl.
2. Fentanyl Education – All students, staff, parents, and community leaders will be educated on the dangers of fentanyl and its prevalence among today’s youth. Education will focus on actionable training to help identify and address the presence of fentanyl on campus and identify and remediate habitual drug use.
3. Safety, Prevention & Remediation Policy – The Coalition will help organizations establish comprehensive drug safety and prevention policy. Drug Policy will prioritize opioid overdose safety and management and provide students with accessible and non-judgmental harm prevention resources, and remediation resources to address habitual drug use.
“Fentanyl is now the leading cause of death among 18- to 45-year-old Americans. This is clearly an epidemic and we must do more to fight this battle. NASRO looks forward to joining with other organizations as a part of the Guardian Coalition to educate and equip those on the front lines of this battle.” said Mo Canady, Executive Director of NASRO.
“The National Drug & Alcohol Screening Association strives to aid in education and prevention efforts with partners who truly care about family and community safety,” said Jo McGuire, Executive Director of NDASA. “We are truly thrilled to serve alongside of these coalition members to achieve these goals.”
For further information regarding the Coalition, visit: www.swabtek.com/guardiancoalition; call: 1-775-277-7977; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.