Millennials who grew up in Southern California are familiar with Vans Warped Tour, an annual event for the last 24 years. The festival is primarily a roaming music tour that showcases half pipes and professional skateboarders, from sometime in June right into August. In fact, many musicians cut their teeth in the 1990’s at Warped Tour, including Blink 182, Limp Bizkit, and My Chemical Romance. What’s more, over the years the event’s founder, Kevin Lyman, has taken the opportunity to advocate for sound causes; the overwhelming teenage audience at the festival affords a chance to talk to young people about everything from breast cancer to donating blood. This year, Lyman is focusing on the American opioid addiction epidemic.
When you consider that nearly every demographic in the U.S. has felt the impact of the opioid use crisis, you also have to acknowledge that many adolescents have already started down a perilous path toward addiction. Opioid use isn’t in most young people’s sphere, like alcohol and marijuana; that isn’t to say that today’s youth aren’t experimenting with painkillers and heroin. Efforts to educate young people about the risks of using OxyContin and illicit opioids is critical. The potential for overdose is exponentially high; those who manage to avoid overdose are still at risk of developing an opioid use disorder which can easily shatter young people’s dreams.
Reports indicate that 2018 is the final Warped Tour. As event organizers prepare to drop the curtain on the beloved event on August 5th, Lyman is calling on young people to FEND off opioids this summer.
Full Energy Not Drugs
Last week, Forbes writer Steve Baltin interviewed the founder of Vans Warped Tour in Costa Mesa, CA, at the shoe company’s headquarters. A major topic of the discussion, among other things, is Lyman’s new initiative FEND (Full Energy Not Drugs). The new drug prevention campaign has its target on opioid use, abuse, addiction, and overdose. FEND members will be present at every stop of the tour, from Pomona to West Palm Beach, Florida.
The goal is to reach teens and young adults regarding safe use of opioids, identifying and responding to an overdose, according to the initiative’s website. FEND members will also educate teenagers about where the can find help for someone struggling with a substance use disorder. Lyman tells Forbes:
“The first phase of this is an education thing. We’re finding there’s just a general lack of knowledge of what are opioids, the storage of opioids when you get hurt, and they give you something is that potentially addictive?”
Another component of the campaign is called gamification. Lyman points out that we are living a “gaming society,” and that they can utilize games for educational purposes. FEND members will encourage Warped Tour goers to download a smartphone app that prompts users to learn, answer questions; those who participate will receive rewards. Down the road, Lyman hopes to start working with people who are already in addiction recovery.
Opioid Use Disorder Treatment
Opioid use among teenagers is a sure path to addiction. Disease progression is different for everyone, although it often develops quickly. Many people entering young adulthood are in need of assistance, those who do not receive help are at a significant risk of harm. If you are a young adult battling an opioid use disorder or have a struggling adult child, please contact Hemet Valley Recovery Center. We can help break the cycle of addiction and help you begin the journey of recovery.