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AG Lynn Fitch, Andrew Jackson Council Boy Scouts, and MS Bureau of Narcotics Host Scout Out Opioids
Distribute 500 Free Family Safety Kits Courtesy of DisposeRX and the National Child ID Program
Yesterday, Sunday, November 20, Attorney General Lynn Fitch’s Office, in collaboration with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (MBN) and the Andrew Jackson Council of the Boy Scouts of America, hosted Scout Out Opioids, a program to raise awareness with Scouts and their families about the dangers of opioids and techniques for reducing the possibility of opioid abuse and misuse for them and their loved ones.
“Opioid abuse is an epidemic in Mississippi and across the country,” said Attorney General Lynn Fitch. “Starting early with educating young children and adolescents about the dangers of opioids and the importance of staying away from their misuse is vital to saving lives. I am grateful to our partners at the Boy Scouts of America and the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics for helping us convey this message to not only these young Scouts, but also their families. And I appreciate DisposeRX and the National Child ID Program providing us with 500 free Family Safety Kits for all of the participating Scout families. These kits not only give parents a way to deactivate unused or expired opioids in the house, but also a mechanism for bringing their child home safely if the unthinkable happens and they ever go missing.”
As part of Scout Out Opioids, Scouts at Winter Camp at Hood Scout Reservation in Hazlehurst, Mississippi received a special Scout Out Opioidspatch and heard from experts on opioid addiction and abuse, including Colonel Steven Maxwell, MBN Director; staff from the Attorney General’s Office; and Jeffrey Harvey with Hinds Behavioral Health Services, a recovering addict who works with Stand Up Mississippi, a multi-agency partnership to end opioid abuse.
“It’s critically important to be well informed and educated about the drug culture, as a matter of success in life,” said Colonel Maxwell. “Being informed and educated provides an effective knowledge base for making sound decisions and exercising prudent judgement. In essence the decisions we make shape and frame the environment we live our lives in.”
“Andrew Jackson Council, Boy Scouts of America is excited to partner with Attorney General Lynn Fitch and her team at the Attorney General’s Office to present this program to the youth involved with the Scouting program,” said Larry Cagle, COO/Assistant Scout Executive with the Andrew Jackson Council, Boy Scouts of America. “Now that opioids have become an issue affecting communities across our state, we are grateful that AG Fitch and her team were willing to speak openly about this topic with our Scouts. In Scouting, every week a Scout pledges to themselves that they will be physically fit and mentally awake, and to be clean – in mind and body. So, for these Scouts to hear of the dangers that abusing opioids can cause to them, their families, and their neighbors is extremely important. It is not only important for our Scouts to know how to identify the danger of opioids but how to handle the danger if they encounter it. We want our Scouts to be upstanders, not bystanders and we hope that our Scouts will be able to take what they learned and share it in the communities that they live in and serve.”
Thanks to a donation by the National Child ID Program, participating Scouts and their families also received free Family Safety Kits. Each Kit includes:
- The Mississippi Child ID materials, including an inkless fingerprinting kit, a DNA sample collection, physical identification information, a place for a recent photo, and easy-to-use instructions. Parents can complete the kit and provide it to law enforcement quickly and easily should the unthinkable happen and their child goes missing.
- A DisposeRx packet with a substance that, when mixed with water and unused or expired opioids, deactivates the drugs, making them safe for disposal without fear that someone could misuse them.
“The National Child ID Program is honored to participate in Scout Out Opioids in Mississippi. These family safety kits are a national model for keeping our kits safe. It is imperative that our children understand the dangers of the opioid epidemic and are prepared. I am proud of the leadership of Attorney General Lynn Fitch, Colonel Maxwell, and Larry Cagle on this endeavor,” said Kenny Hansmire, Executive Director of the National Child Identification Program.
In October, General Fitch and the National Child ID Program announced the launch of the Mississippi Child ID Program. Private grant dollars will enable Child ID Kits to be distributed free to all Mississippi kindergarteners in the Spring through the National Child ID Program.
The National Child ID Program is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The program was created by football coaches in 1997 following the abduction and death of Amber Hagerman, the namesake for the Amber Alert. Since then, over 75 million child ID kits have been distributed nationally via public-private partnerships.
To see the special patch as well as the MS child ID kit, click here.
MageeNews.com is an online news source covering Simpson and surrounding counties as well as the State of Mississippi.