When parents nag their children about the same things over and over again, the message tends to go in one ear and out the other. This is also true for adults — we tend to stop paying attention to the things that become part of a routine. This process is just a part of human nature, so when trying to engrave a message like “don’t drink and drive” into the heads of our nation’s youth, we might need to come up with creative and innovative ways to get the point across. That’s why country music artist Jared Blake from the first season of The Voice on NBC is using his cool, hip, and fun personal brand to reach a younger audience about the dangers of drinking and driving in a new way.
Live To Be
Jared created the Live To Be youth outreach program, which allows him to travel to different schools across America and speak to students about the importance of living a life free of drugs and alcohol. He uses the “living above” approach to life, which teaches children that they can ‘fill in the blank’ with their own life goal and see how drugs and alcohol can deviate them away from it. “The program provides discussions to help teens dig deep within their own desires to gain a positive focus on life while fighting doubt, confusion, hopelessness, and peer pressure,” according to the Live To Be website. Also, the outreach program works alongside S.A.F.E. (Stopping Addiction with Family Education) to educate families on the importance of addiction prevention.
Jared Blake has had two different experiences with alcohol and drugs. First, Jared and his wife Jennifer were victims of a head-on collision with a drunk driver who was going 60 miles per hour. While everyone made it out alive, Jennifer suffered a spinal fracture and multiple other injuries. “We were on an interstate change near downtown, on a curve, and by the time we saw headlights it was too late. We were on a bridge lucky no flips happened, but that also meant we hit almost straight on,” said Jennifer. “Jared somehow got out and bent my door open to lay me on the ground. I couldn’t move but just stared at the stars knowing my eyes were open and I could hear so I was alive.”
Second, it was announced on the Voice that Jared himself had a drug problem in the past. Once the announcement came out, he found that many people were reaching out to him on social media. Whether they asked him how to help their family members with their addiction or how to beat their own struggles with drug or alcohol addiction, Jared realized that he could use his experiences to help other people. Although, Jared understood that the first step to preventing addiction was to educate young people about it.
SAFE and Live To Be
As the father of six children, Jared understands the importance of educating children from a young age for effective alcohol and drug addiction prevention. Youth outreach programs can be extremely beneficial and effective to educate young people in communities all across the United States. Jared had an epiphany when he realized that, “the best impact he could have is to reach out before there’s a problem – before they become an addict. Let children know that no one expects to become an addict; that they don’t have their first beer or go to their first party or go to college with the expectation that they are going to become an alcoholic and ruin their life.”
If you or a loved one is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, don’t hesitate to get help right away! Call SAFE Prevention at 1-877-503-2608 to learn more about addiction prevention and treatment.