PDT Staff Report
COLUMBUS — On Monday, more than 700 young people from around the State are expected to converge on downtown Columbus to walk from Huntington Park to the Ohio Statehouse to bring awareness to their peers that the majority of young people are alcohol and drug free.
The Youth Council of the Ohio Youth Led Prevention Network developed the idea in response to many of their peers’ beliefs about substance use and to show other youth that those who do not use drugs or alcohol truly are The Majority. They want to bring awareness to youth across the state that 62 percent of young people in grades eight through 12 do not use alcohol, 79 percent do not smoke cigarettes and 79 percent have not misused prescription medications, as cited in the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Study.
The walk will happen along Nationwide Boulevard and High Street about 11:15-11:45 a.m. Monday, with a rally expected at noon at the Statehouse.
Expected to speak is Orman Hall, director of the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, the agency sponsoring the Rally.
The Ohio Youth-Led Prevention Network (OYLPN) consists of youth-led substance abuse prevention providers and youth from across the state who are committed to the cornerstones of youth-led prevention, peer prevention, positive youth development and community service. The OYLPN fosters partnerships and collaborations among these youth-led prevention programs throughout Ohio. The Youth Council of the OYLPN is comprised of nine youth representing the three largest youth-led prevention groups: PRIDE Youth Programs, Ohio Teen Institute and Youth to Youth international.
Drug Free Action Alliance is a non-profit organization leading the way in promoting healthy lives through the prevention of substance abuse and related problems. Programs and initiatives include Parents Who Host, Lose the Most, Drug Free 24/7, Know!, Ohio Center for Coalition Excellence, SOLACE, the Ohio College Initiative to Reduce High-Risk Drinking, the Ohio Youth-Led Prevention Network and Ohio Youth Philanthropy Council. For more information on Drug Free Action Alliance, visit www.DrugFreeActionAlliance.org.