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Photo from Hope
for the Holidays -
Atlantic City 2019
MAGIC AT BROWN'S PARK
December 19, 2020
2:00 - 5:00 PM
Kentucky and Arctic Avenues
WHY HOPE FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Under Atlantic City's skies, as world-class experiences are being delivered around the clock, over 6,000 children try to grow up to be healthy adults against incredible odds.
Kids who do not even know what drugs and alcohol are yet are on a predestined path to be destroyed by them. This is because their environment is loaded with risk factors that can not be avoided. There is a price to pay being raised in resort towns that have significant social problems. Those whose households include parental alcoholism or addiction are at even greater risk and if violence is part of that home environment they may develop serious mental illness as well.
That is if we do nothing.
Atlantic City has some incredible organizations that can often mitigate symptoms and this can greatly reduce risks as children continue to develop. At the community level, new norms can substantially off-set risks, especially for youth facing multiple risks for developing substance use and/or other mental health disorders.
Hope for the Holidays - Atlantic City was created as a community protective factor to give our youth the best chance possible for growing up healthy. It relies on evidence-based solutions and is much more than a fun holiday event. The benefits of that would wear off in hours. The excitement of the event serves as an opportunity to engage our at-risk youth and build a relationship with their community over time. However, immediate benefits are built-in as well. Not only are families able to develop an awareness of how to manage these risks, some of the best organizations that deliver services that can offer opportunities for our youth will be there. This event provides a bridge between our youth and organizations that may benefit them now or in the future. Children will see Santa and receive gifts, have a great holiday meal, participate in lots of fun activities and should leave with more hope than they came in with.
For the children of Atlantic City it will take a village. If you are part of the village, please become part of the event. There are many ways to participate.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE EVENT
Jessica Hulsey, founder and CEO, Addiction Policy Forum elaborates on risk and protective factors. Both of Jessica's parents had substance use disorders (SUD) and she explains the process of offsetting risks with protective factors
Further, Communities That Care (CDC) has additional commentary at this link