Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Launches New Podcast Series Focused on Opioid Abuse Prevention

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the nation’s most experienced mentoring organization is now providing a new podcast series to help parents and mentors prevent youth from falling victim to the opioid crisis. The national Mentoring Youth Impacted by Opioids (MYIO) grant, one-to-one mentoring program, pairs mentors (called ‘Bigs’) with youth, aged 9 to young 17 (called ‘Littles’). Big Brothers Big Sisters’ evidence-based approach is designed to create positive youth outcomes, including educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors, and improved relationships. Parents/guardians and mentors will have access to the new Opioid Abuse Prevention Podcast Series beginning in October, which is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month.

The 10-episode podcast series will feature experts from Caron Treatment Centers, Tower Health and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Topics include: The Opioid Epidemic—Where it StandsThriving Despite Trauma–Practical Strategies for Instilling Resiliency in Youth; and

The Importance of a Positive Peer Culture in Opioid Abuse Prevention.

When comparing Big Brothers Big Sisters Risk and Protective Inventory (RPI) data to national data, parents who have children enrolled in a Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program report that 28% have one or more family members who has a problem with alcoholism or drug use, compared to 8% children nationally.

The goal of the podcast series is to decrease the likelihood that youth will engage in opioid or illicit substance use and provide support to those who are impacted by personal or family-member opioid abuse.

“We know the strength of our mentoring program relies not only on the connection between the Big and the Little, but the support from the parent or guardian, too.” said Pam Iorio, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. “Whenever we can offer an extra layer of guidance or additional resources to our families, we can play a role in that young person’s success.”

“Tragically, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to even more families being affected by opioid use disorder,” said Tammy Granger, Vice President of Education at Caron Treatment Centers. “That’s why it’s more critical than ever that parents, caregivers, and mentors are educated about the disease of addiction and empowered to support the well-being of their loved ones and ‘Littles’ during these challenging times.”

This podcast series is funded by the Mentoring Youth Impacted by Opioids (MYIO) grant #2018-JU-FX-0023 from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this podcast, (including, without limitation, its content, policies, and any services or tools provided).

The series will be available to the 236 Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies across the country. Click here to listen to one of the podcast episodes, Thriving Despite Trauma—Practical Strategies for Instilling Resiliency in Youth.

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