The Elks Drug Awareness Program serves to support public awareness, protect our future by educating our youth and their parents, and ultimately create a society where substance abuse is non-existent.

We understand that it’s a long-term vision, but we believe it’s a worthy pursuit. Just like the story of the young child walking along the beach, throwing starfish back into the sea—when told he couldn’t possibly save them all, he replied, “But I saved this one”—we focus on helping those we can.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teachers:

About 570,000 people die annually in the U.S. due to drug use. That breaks down to more than 480,000 deaths related to tobacco, about 31,000 due to alcohol, nearly 22,000 due to overdose from illicit (illegal) drugs, and close to 23,000 due to overdose from prescription pain relievers.

From the CDC we know that from 1999-2016, more than 350,000 people died from an overdose involving any opioid, including prescription and illicit opioids. As of 2017, approximately one American dies every 12 minutes from an opioid overdose.

In 2023 fentanyl overdoses ravaged the US

Public health experts say fentanyl, a synthetic opioid far more powerful than heroin, is responsible for the majority of drug deaths. But the supply of illegal drugs is increasingly complex and perilous.

Americans using drugs recreationally, or caught up in more serious addiction, face an unpredictable cocktail that often includes fentanyl, methamphetamines and fast-changing mix of new chemicals.

The latest threats include the horse tranquilizer xylazine, which causes lingering flesh wounds in users, and nitazenes, synthetic opioids that appear to be even more potent than fentanyl.

Often Mexican drug cartels press these chemicals into pills, which are counterfeited to resemble pharmaceutical-grade medications for depression, pain and ADHD.

“This is why it’s so important for you to understand that you cannot just simply pick up a drug and go ahead and use it,” said professor Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, head of Stanford University’s REACH Lab, which focuses on understanding, preventing and reducing teen and young adult substance use.

Federal researchers now say drug overdoses are a leading cause of death among young Americans age 18-45 and have also spiked as a killer of pregnant women.

So how are we helping?

Statistically, we know that the first attempt by youth to use drugs and alcohol is tied into wanting to belong, to be part of the in-crowd or to escape from problems as may be experienced at home or school.

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks are totally committed to giving parents and children factual information both about the use of illegal drugs and the abuse of legalized drugs.

We want the children to realize that there are many ways to be a hero and that they do not have to wait until they are an adult to be one.

  • With gratitude to Marvel Comics, we even have a Comic Book pdf available. This is the latest version and you can click on the image below to enjoy the online comic book What Heroes Do 

  • In another arena, Ray Lozano recently gave a TedTalk on 3.5 Things Parents Can Do To Help Their Kids Stay Drug-Free and it was featured on the CHEA site. One of his key points is “You must educate yourself on all of the various kinds of drugs your child might be exposed to, as well as the effects they may have on somebody who’s using.“To read the full article click on the link but in the meantime, you can watch the talk here:

Working with the Elks, Ray is available to speak at the various lodge and community events pending his schedule.

  • And still, the Kids Zone provides many resources including a Poster Contest, an Essay Contest, Big Milt’s Life Lessons and so much more…

  • One other video we are proud to share is from SmoshPit’s YouTube Channel and in their words “Thanks to the Elks DAP & DEA for sponsoring this very important episode”

With comments like this, we are sure that everyone can relate to what is happening!

“Wow. Idk if it’s just me, but something about Damien’s makeup got to me the most. He looked awful and the side by side made him look 20+ years older. Wow. All of them, it made me so heart broken”

Throughout the year Mojave Elks looks to partner with the schools, local law enforcement, and businesses to ensure the safety and future of our youth. If you are interested in helping us with this endeavor please contact us today.