By Kristy Blanchard
Editor's note: This column originally appeared in The McAllen Monitor. Read the original version here.
As a family law attorney, my work too often involves cases in which people’s lives are disrupted and even destroyed by substance abuse. As the president of the Texas Young Lawyers Association, an arm of the State Bar of Texas, I want to do all I can to avert young people from this preventable fate.
This month, TYLA launched a new multimedia project that we believe will make a difference by educating young people about the dangers and real-life consequences of substance abuse. Through BSAFE: Battling Substance Abuse For Everyone, we hope to provide resources to people struggling with addiction while educating the public about substance abuse and the benefits of drug courts that rehabilitate offenders.
Sadly, statistics show the need for this project. Four out of five juvenile arrestees are either under the influence of drugs or alcohol while committing their crimes, test positive for drugs, are arrested for committing an alcohol or drug offense, admit to having substance abuse problems, or share some combination of these characteristics, according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.