Join the FEND Movement
Join us to empower youth in your area to prevent drug misuse and encourage positive mental health and well being.
We strive to improve health outcomes and save lives by bringing together researchers and technologists to find innovative and effective solutions to address large-scale public health challenges.
OUR CURRENT FOCUS
Families and communities across the U.S. are struggling to cope with the health, economic and emotional effects of the opioid epidemic. At the Preventum Intitiative we use the latest research and technology to educate young adults on the dangers of opioid use, how to deal with someone in distress, and ultimately reduce opioid dependency and overdoses.
OPIOID DEATHS – HOW IS YOUR STATE AFFECTED?
Our youth are facing a crisis! The misuse of prescription drugs, including painkillers (Opioids), benzodiazepines (Xanax), stimulants (Adderall and Ritalin), and Fentanyl among teens and young adults is on the rise, so too are addiction and overdose rates. There is an urgent need to reduce opioid misuse, abuse, overdose and diversion, and educate young people about the highly addictive, and potentially deadly, nature of these prescription medications.
- In 2015, 80% of teen drug overdose deaths were accidental; 65% were from opioids ¹ ²
- 50% of young people who currently inject heroin first misused prescription opioids ³
- Deaths involving Fentanyls (synthetic opioids) were increased by 47% in 2017 alone ⁴
- According to SAMHSA, every $1 spent on opioid prevention can save between $18 to $30 on treatment ⁵
- Less than 10% of people with substance abuse disorder ever get medical help ⁶
As educators, policy makers, and concerned citizens, having the information needed to help young people make responsible decisions regarding drug use is not enough. What we need are effective communication strategies for education. Previous educational programs have identified the urgency of stopping addiction and drug use in younger generations. These efforts, however, have fallen short. Although they’ve preached the dangers of drug use, such campaigns have failed to engage youth in a meaningful way. The days of scare tactics are over. Todays’ youth want to engage in programs that empower them to be part of the solution. If drug-related deaths amongst this generation are to be prevented, we must equip youth with the tools that provide an immersive solution that communicates this life-saving information through interactive ways.
Enter FEND (Full Energy, No Drugs)—the first prevention campaign of its kind to incorporate gamification, individualization, and real-time reporting.
Click the video above to find out more about FEND
Created by the Preventum Initiative, FEND is an opioid education and prevention campaign that provides crucial knowledge about the risks of prescription opioids (and other medications and illegal drugs), addiction and overdose through an interactive smartphone app. By engaging youth on a platform they’ve already mastered—their smartphone—FEND encourages young people to take responsibility for their choices by transmitting life-saving information effectively and meaningfully.
FEND encourages teens to take control of their health while watching out for the wellbeing of friends by presenting crucial facts, figures, and tips for helping loved ones who may be misusing or dependent on prescription medications. FEND also incorporates information on mental illness, behavioral problems and suicide, providing youth with coping skills to improve their resiliency and mental wellness. This information is all presented in engaging and relevant ways. As youth engage, they complete missions and earn rewards, which can be redeemed for prizes and ‘money can’t buy’ experiences.
A NEW APPROACH TO DELIVERING PUBLIC HEALTH
The campaign is rolled out on the FEND app, and incorporates elements of gamification, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to individualize and engage participants.
Real-time reporting allows campaign managers to see those in the target audience who are (and are not) engaged in the campaign, and adjust the content and engagement strategies accordingly. It also allows governments and communities to get up-to-date data on the progress and effectiveness of their campaign.
Campaigns can be tailored to fit the needs of your community.
Why FEND works
FEND and its technology platform has been thoroughly tested and researched. Evidence-based research by subject-matter experts in public health, addiction, treatment, recovery, behavioral science, gamification and contingency management specialists help develop the content and missions in the FEND app campaign.
FEND uses a cutting-edge technology platform that allows the FEND team to build, deploy, update and monitor the campaign from a back-end CMS. It also allows the end-users to engage in the campaign from the FEND app.
A key element to the successful engagement rates is the use of gamification in the app. Combining gaming elements such as rewards, badges and leaderboards with behavior change and motivation theories can engage users in ways that increase their motivation to adopt healthy behaviors.
A key component of FEND is engaging musicians and artists to interact with youth to spread the word on the danger of opioids. A number of bands and artists have already come on board to support FEND.
FEND is becoming an iconic streetwear brand, with youth, bands and athletes from around the world wearing FEND gear. Many of the prizes and giveaways associated with FEND will be in the form of FEND merchandise. FEND streetwear can be purchased online at www.wearefend.org
FEND will partner with sports teams and athletes to help engage youth to use the app. Videos from athletes and sports teams can be embedded into the app, teaching youth about safe opioid use, as well as giving encouragement.
FEND is rolling out as a youth-led community based campaign, with the aim of empowering youth, while reducing the stigma surrounding substance abuse and mental illness that prevents many young people from seeking the help they need.
Voices of FEND
Four weeks into the FEND campaign in the summer of 2018 we asked FEND participants to share with us their stories about opioids, addiction, overdose or recovery. These are just some of the Voices of FEND.
I have personally never had anyone I know become addicted to opioids nor have I had to help someone who has overdosed on them but since I’ve gotten this app and extended my knowledge on the subject I’m confident I have the ability to help identify and treat someone who has overdosed on them. I could save someone’s life!
I’ve been learning a lot through the FEND app. I learned that lots of people use them for pain relief, but they’re highly addictive. Also, I learned that slow breathing, small pupils, blue skin, or being unresponsive can mean somebody has overdosed. If you’ve found somebody that’s overdosed, you should give them Narcan, call 911, and lay them on their side till help comes.
I think that if the doctors had given me a choice, and made me aware of what these painkillers did and how addictive they were, I wouldn’t have taken that road.
I’ve always known that opioids were dangerous once a person got addicted to them. I never realized how common it was for people to overdose on opioids. Before downloading this app, I didn’t know what to do or the signs to look for when there is an overdose. Now, I know the symptoms and what position to put the body in. I now know how to save someone’s life.
I never realised that people of all ages can get addicted to opioids. I always thought it was just those who did illegal non-prescription drugs. Seeing this app, I’m now more careful watching what I take, and that I’m taking it as directed. It’s crazy to think that addiction can happen to anyone.