American teens are facing more pressure and access to more dangerous drugs than ever before. With no standardized national program for drug prevention and education, kids are starting their experimentation with drugs at younger and younger ages and are unaware of the deadly consequences. 38,125 teens died last year from prescription drug overdoses alone, surpassing the national number of traffic fatalities. The numbers are staggering and the cost to the nation and the families is incalculable. Why isn’t there an impassioned national dialogue about this?
It may seem daunting, almost impossible on a national level, to invest in solutions for this devastating teen epidemic that’s affecting our most precious resource, our children. But there are some bright spots, some effective prevention programs scattered around the country that inspire teens to make good choices.
For me, exploring this issue of programs for teens that work in a documentary has been especially meaningful. I know how easy it is for young people get on the wrong track, and how hard is it to get back on the right one. Positive programs, role models and mentors are desperately needed all the way through middle school and high school, even college, to teach life skills. And a new concept of cool.
The programs we highlight in The Silent Majority are changing both lives and communities. The great kids we interviewed for this show told us what teen court, drug free youth and Road Recovery means to them. When given a choice, programs like these are what they want.