Nonprofits Partner On Web Site To Combat Underage Drinking, More

An online portal designed to prevent underage drinking, drug use, and teen dating violence was recently launched by two non-profit organizations.

EmPoWER Somerset and Safe Communities Coalition of Somerset / Hunterdon Counties have partnered to create the web site, SoberTruth4Youth.org.

The portal features eight short videos developed by the Safe Communities Coalition and other community partners such as Safe+Sound Somerset and Community in Crisis, according to a press release on the program. The videos feature professional and personal testimonials, facts and dramatizations to increase knowledge and enhance skills for staying safe and making good choices, the release said.

Viewers can test their knowledge by taking a short quiz associated with each video and can then download or print a certificate of completion once all of the quiz questions are answered correctly, according to the release.

The online prevention education portal was developed with funding from the New Jersey Department of Health and the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

“The Safe Communities Coalition has developed several excellent educational videos,” Kristen Schiro, Empower Somerset Assistant Director, said in the release. “We wanted to create a tool for schools, adolescents, and parents to easily access all of these resources in one place. The quiz and certificate features were added to provide teachers with a convenient way of confirming completion, so the videos can easily be used for homework or classroom assignments.”

SoberTruth4Youth.com videos include Fentanyl Factor,  His, Hers, the Truth: Marijuana’s Overlooked Consequences, Pills 2 Heroin, In a Split Second and the follow up Rebirth all developed by the Safe Communities Coalition.  Real life interviews explore the progression of prescription drug abuse to heroin, the devastating effects of using drugs and alcohol, and what can be done to help prevent future tragedies. 

Other featured videos developed by partner organizations include Why Many Teens are Ditching their Vapes from Community in Crisis; Everything You Wanted To Know About Teen Dating Violence and Healthy Relationships from Safe + Sound Somerset; and Don’t Be a Friend, Be a Parent, a dramatization exploring what can go wrong when parents host underage drinking parties, originally developed by a prevention coalition in Maryland and adapted for New Jersey.  Spanish versions of two of the videos, In a Split Second and Fentanyl Factor are also included, with voiceover dubbing and translated text and quiz questions.

“The power of this website is that it delivers education on a variety of prevention topics in one convenient location,” Schiro said in the release.  “The content will continue to grow as more of the videos are translated into Spanish, and as additional videos are added on topics such as preventing teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.” 

“Safe+Sound Somerset is proud to partner with Empower Somerset by sharing our Teen Dating Violence video and quiz,” Jessica Skultety, Safe+Sound Somerset Outreach and Prevention Manager, said in the release. “When one in three teens experience dating violence before high school graduation, we need to talk about it. Teen dating violence is caused by one teen purposefully gaining and keeping power and control over another teen. Using substances can make violence worse.”

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