Legacy Fun Day celebrates youth and a drug free life

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Over 300 disadvantaged youth in Madison County got the chance to have a whole lot of fun and also learn about being a partner in a drug-free community.

The 18th Annual Legacy Fun Day is what Representative Rex Reynolds says helps provide in the efforts to break the cycle of drug use. "It takes a village to raise a child, well, this is a village."

Candice Dunaway, Executive Director for the Partnership for a Drug Free Community said the Legacy Fun day is a day where the kids, '...can have fun in a drug free atmosphere."

 To celebrate youth and a drug free life because —

•    According to a 2012 report from the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, all children experience stress at some point, and in fact a certain amount of stress helps young children develop skills for meeting challenges and coping with setbacks that inevitably occur in life. But chronic stressors like family poverty can diminish a child's ability to cope. Studies show early drug education improves a child's ability to avoid turning to alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism.

•    According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Behavioral Health Barometers for Alabama 2009-2013, found that 99,000 individuals 12 years of age and older were dependent on or abused illicit drugs each year.

•    Nearly three people a day are overdosing on drugs in Madison County. From January 2017 through April 30, 2018, 1,067 people were transported by HEMSI paramedics to area hospitals for drug overdose symptoms. Narcan, which counteracts the life-threatening effects of opioid overdose, was administered 715 times during the same time period. Narcan is now being carried by law enforcement because of the widespread problem.

The children got the chance to meet and greet with Huntsville Police Department SWAT team members and officers as well as Huntsville Fire and Rescue personnel and paramedics from HEMSI.

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