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Operation UNITE "Shoot Hoops, Not Drugs" summer basketball camps build self-respect in rural Kentucky, devastated by drug abuse
BALTIMORE, June 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Ameritox(SM), the nation's leader in medication monitoring solutions, will sponsor of a series of summer basketball camps organized by Kentucky-based Operation UNITE. The camps will focus on teaching youth the dangers of drug use, the value of self-respect within the framework of basketball skill instruction.
Operation UNITE, created by Kentucky Congressman Hal Rogers in 2003 to join government, law enforcement, and businesses together in fighting Kentucky's rampant drug abuse, launched its annual "Shoot Hoops, Not Drugs" basketball camps last year. The camps were created to instill strong deterrents for drug abuse in school-aged children, the demographic most likely to become drug misusers and abusers. The camps' messages build confidence and a sense of the importance of teamwork.
Operation UNITE organizes the basketball clinics in rural areas of Kentucky, which in recent years have been ravaged by prescription and illegal drug abuse. Opioid abuse alone has cost thousands of Kentuckians lives, hundreds of millions of dollars annually in lost wages and hospital bills. Drug-related deaths number over 100 each month – more than those caused by fatal car crashes.
"Like too many other states, Kentucky is a battleground for prescription and illegal drug misuse and abuse," said Ameritox CEO Scott Walton. "These camps offer a great way to keep kids interested and involved in healthy activities and to talk to them about avoiding unhealthy ones. Operation UNITE, like Ameritox, is focused on identifying potential drug misuse and abuse, and providing solutions to fix it."
Ameritox employees will provide support to Operation UNITE staff at the camps.
"Ameritox is a mission-driven company that perfectly aligns with ours, which is why we are proud to have them as the lead sponsor of this year's camps," said Dan Smoot, CEO of Operation UNITE. "We're grateful for Ameritox's generous support and grateful for their efforts to help prevent drug misuse and abuse."
The 2014 camps will be conducted by conducted by former University of Kentucky all-star player Jeff Sheppard. The dates and locations of the camps are:
Ameritox helped pioneer the prescription drug monitoring necessary to address the national epidemic of prescription drug misuse, abuse, and diversion. As the nation's trusted leader in Pain Medication Monitoring SolutionsSM, Ameritox provides medical and business professionals with health care solutions that can help improve patient care and prevent tragedy. Ameritox, headquartered in Baltimore, Md., has 800 employees nationwide and laboratory facilities in Greensboro, N.C.
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