EARLY YEARS: Prevention Council of Roanoke marking nearly 22 years of service to the community

A fundraiser is happening Thursday, November 10 at 5:30 p.m. at the Vinton War Memorial
The council works alongside schools, police and other organizations to educate families about risks like drugs
Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 5:48 AM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - In area schools and in the community, the Prevention Council of Roanoke works to educate families about substance use disorders and other potential dangers facing our youth.

In its nearly 22 years, its mission has evolved.

“The difference is, we didn’t have as much then as we have now. When we first started, there were only two things- It was to make sure the kids never picked up a cigarette and to get the underage alcohol down,” says Nancy Hans, Executive Director of the Prevention Council

Flash forward to 2022 and there are deadly drugs on the streets, like fentanyl, which can be disguised as candy.

The newest drug danger, though, is Protonitazene.

“We have people who think they’re scientists, and things can be mixed with anything now. And that particular one, we’re finding out now, it can take two to three rounds of Narcan to bring somebody back,” says Hans.

And it’s already been seen in our hometowns.

“I know that there have been around Roanoke... there were signs of it in Campbell County and we know that that’s very close,” says Hans.

The Prevention Council works with other agencies, schools and police departments to help spread awareness about drugs and other potential dangers to area youth.

“Our Virginia State Police do a great job of keeping an eye on other areas surrounding us, and they can inform us of what is coming,” says Leigh Stover, Communications and CARA Grant Coordinator for the prevention council.

And with plans for more education sessions for families in the upcoming year, the work of the Prevention Council won’t be stopping anytime soon.

“We need to have parents and grandparents and caregivers really start to notice more about what is out there and again, have these conversations with your teenagers,” says Hans..

For a link to buy tickets to the fundraiser, click this link.