ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Advanced Recovery Systems (ARS), a leader in behavioral healthcare management, and the Miss Florida Scholarship Pageant have announced their collaboration to educate high school students about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. As the spokesperson for the partnership, Miss Florida 2016 Courtney Sexton will be visiting schools across the state for a "Real Talk" with students.
"I am very excited to get started and address a serious problem teens are facing every day," said Courtney Sexton, Miss Florida 2016. "Many may not even realize how quickly misusing drugs or alcohol can become a full-blown addiction. I hope to use my time as Miss Florida to spark conversations among students that this isn't cool—it's dangerous and potentially deadly."
Sexton's 40-minute "Real Talk" presentation is based on prevention techniques included in The Alcohol Literacy Challenge™, developed by nationally-recognized researchers Michael Dunn, PhD and Thomas Hall, PhD. The Alcohol Literacy Challenge™ is the first classroom-based prevention program that specifically challenges students' beliefs about the effects of drinking alcohol. Sexton will use this curriculum as a springboard to educate students on the risks associated with newly emerging drug trends and equip them with skills on how to abstain from dangerous behaviors.
Nearly 1 in 4 high school students have been offered, sold or given illicit drugs on school property and more than 58 percent of 12th graders have used drugs in the past year. Approximately 35 percent of 12th graders have consumed alcohol in the past month—and alcohol is responsible for about 4,300 deaths of people under age 21 each year. In addition to well-known substances like marijuana and alcohol, teens have also started abusing common household items, like cough syrups, cleaning solutions and aerosol cans, to produce a high or hallucinogenic effect.
"With our nation's tragic addiction epidemic on the rise, we believe that education and support during this formative time can be critical in preventing substance abuse and empowering teens to make healthy choices in the future," said Allison Walsh, Vice President of Business Development for Advanced Recovery Systems. "We are thrilled to partner with the Miss Florida Scholarship Pageant and Courtney, who can help us break down the barriers surrounding these important issues and create meaningful conversations that will help to save lives."
How to Get Involved
Miss Florida is currently accepting requests from schools within Florida, for students grades 8-12. To request a presentation from Miss Florida at your school, visit www.DrugRehab.com/real-talk/educators.
To join the conversation on social media, use #MissFLRealTalk.
To learn more about substance abuse, addiction or how to seek help, visit www.DrugRehab.com.
About Courtney Sexton, Miss Florida 2016
Courtney Sexton, 23, from Starke, was crowned Miss Florida in July 2016, representing Orlando. Sexton went on to represent the Sunshine State at Miss America 2017, where she was named the winner of the non-finalist interview award. She is a second-year graduate student at the University of Central Florida, studying Health Administration. In addition to the "Real Talk" school tour, Sexton will travel the state promoting her personal platform of volunteerism: "Get Up! Get Moving! Volunteer!" She is a state ambassador for Miss America's national partner, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and serves as a literacy spokesperson for the Everglades Foundation advocating the protection and restoration of America's Everglades.
About The Alcohol Literacy Challenge
Based on the research of Michael Dunn, PhD and Thomas Hall, PhD, The Alcohol Literacy Challenge™ (ALC) is the first classroom-based prevention program that specifically and systematically challenges students' beliefs about the effects of drinking alcohol. The ALC has been recognized by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the U.S. Department of Education as an effective, evidence-based prevention program.
About Advanced Recovery Systems (ARS)
Advanced Recovery Systems (ARS) is an integrated behavioral healthcare management company dedicated to the treatment of addiction, substance abuse, eating disorders, and mental health issues. ARS's network of treatment centers includes The Recovery Village (Umatilla, Florida); The Recovery Village Ridgefield (Ridgefield, WA); The Recovery Village Palmer Lake (Palmer Lake, CO); Next Generation Village (Sebring, Florida); Orlando Recovery Center (Orlando, Florida); Next Step Village (Maitland, FL); Blue Horizon Eating Disorder Services (Winter Park, FL). Visit www.AdvancedRecoverySystems.com for more information.
Miss Florida Scholarship Pageant, Inc.
The Miss Florida Scholarship Pageant, Inc., has a strong focus and commitment to the young women of Florida; it is more than a title, it is a movement of empowering young women in the state to achieve their dreams by providing quality scholarship assistance and honoring their commitment to helping others. Visit www.MissFlorida.org to learn more.
Contact: Allison Walsh, 352-669-8000
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SOURCE Advanced Recovery Systems