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State Bar of Texas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 10, 2014

Contact: Lowell Brown, lbrown@texasbar.com, 512-427-1713 or 800-204-2222, ext. 1713

New Texas Young Lawyers project battles substance abuse in youth

AUSTIN — A new multimedia project from the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) will educate young people about the dangers and real-life consequences of substance abuse.

Through BSAFE: Battling Substance Abuse For Everyone, TYLA aims to provide resources to those struggling with substance abuse and inform the public about the use and benefits of drug courts. The project includes a three-part DVD and written materials targeted at middle and high school students, their parents, and educators.

“Substance abuse is a factor in many of the cases I see,” said TYLA President Kristy Blanchard, a family law attorney in Plano. “My hope for this project is that TYLA can help protect students from substance abuse and educate them about the very real legal and physical consequences of addiction.”

BSAFE tells the story of multiple young people who have battled and overcome drug dependence. Through their eyes, viewers see firsthand just how easily one can slide from youthful experimentation to substance abuse and addiction.

In a second video aimed at parents, educators, and other adults, the BSAFE project details the warning signs of substance abuse and provides resources to help families cope with and overcome addiction. A third video explains drug court system in Texas, which provides first-time drug offenders with an opportunity to avoid criminal prosecution in exchange for participating in an approved rehabilitation program and remaining drug-free.

TYLA has also produced a pamphlet for parents and educators containing warning signs of substance abuse, helpful tips on what to do if you suspect substance abuse, and information on the numerous resources available to families dealing with these issues. TYLA is working with educators to get these materials into schools starting later this spring.

A grant from the Texas Bar Foundation is funding the project. Since its inception in 1965, the foundation has awarded more than $15 million in grants to law-related programs. Supported by members of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Bar Foundation is the nation’s largest charitably funded bar foundation.

BSAFE: Battling Substance Abuse For Everyone is available at www.tyla.org. Contact TYLA at 800-204-2222, ext. 1529, to request a copy of the DVD or written materials. Many other outstanding TYLA public service projects that serve vulnerable populations—youth, seniors, domestic violence victims—are also available on the TYLA website.

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All licensed Texas lawyers who are 36 years old or younger or who are in their first five years of licensure, regardless of age, are automatically members of TYLA. Commonly referred to as the “public service arm” of the State Bar of Texas, TYLA’s main purposes are to facilitate the administration of justice, foster respect for the law, and advance the role of the legal profession in serving the public.

The State Bar of Texas is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Texas that provides educational programs for the legal profession and the public, administers the minimum continuing legal education program for attorneys, and manages the attorney discipline system.

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