Inspiring youth in a way that also gives them the tools to influence their peers is one of the driving forces behind Ohio Farm Bureau’s Hope for Ohio initiative.
Hope for Ohio is a Farm Bureau project in partnership with supporting organizations working together with 4-H and FFA members to encourage peer-to-peer prevention measures to help fight the opioid epidemic.
Hope for Ohio events took place in three different areas of the state in November: FFA Camp Muskingham in Carroll County, Spencerville High School in Allen County and Batavia Community Center in Clermont County. The programs were for youth, parents, advisers and others interested in helping young people combat the crisis. More than 100 people participated in the initiative.
Various speakers both affected by the drug crisis as well as those working with youth in the field, such as Prevention Action Alliance, shared stories and information to provide youth with tools they need to be prevention leaders in their communities.
The toll of the opioid epidemic has contributed to the first decline in U.S. life expectancy since 1993. The U.S drug overdose mortality rate is 17.7 deaths per 100,000 ages 15-64, according to statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s USDA Rural Development. In Ohio that number is much higher – 39.5 per 100,000.