Thursday, March 15, 2018

Tobacco Prevention Education at The Lakeland Rodeo

InnerAct Alliance representatives Donna Swygert (left), Oliva May (right), and Mike Flora (not pictured) joined Juli Davis of Tobacco Free Florida (middle), a major sponsor for the Lakeland Pro Rodeo held on the weekend of January 26-27, 2018, to educate the community about the dangers of tobacco use including dipping, chewing and cigarette smoking. 

UthMpact Leadership Day - Business & Agriculture

UthMpact Leadership Day - Business & Agriculture

UthMpact Class VII Student Leaders participated in their last Leadership Day with the theme Business with a twist of Agriculture. Students visited the Polk County Farm Bureau, Peace River Packing Company, Florida’s Natural Growers, the HEART program at Warner University, and the Lightsey Cattle Ranch. The students learned that agricultural is a huge business in Polk County and an industry that our citizens rely on greatly!

Many Teens Who Take Adderall as “Study Drug” May Be Unaware it is Amphetamine

An October 2017 study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence reports that many American teens who take the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder drug Adderall as a “study drug” are unaware it is an amphetamine.

Some high school and college students use stimulants like Adderall because they think it will improve their mental function and school performance. Use of amphetamines like Adderall without a doctor’s order is known as nonmedical use. It can lead to abuse and dependency, as well as harmful medical problems such as seizures, heart problems, and increased drug use.

Researchers studied the responses of more than 24,000 high school seniors who took part in a national survey between 2010-2015. Although 8 percent reported nonmedical amphetamine use and 7 percent reported nonmedical Adderall use in the past year, about 29 percent of nonmedical Adderall users reported no nonmedical amphetamine use.
“Findings suggest that many young people are unaware that Adderall is an amphetamine,” said Joseph Palamar, leader author of the study conducted by the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research at New York University's Meyers College of Nursing in New York City. “These percentages about prescription stimulant misuse may actually be underestimated. Better drug education is needed to inform the public about common drugs like amphetamines and opioids.”
Adderall is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine used primarily to treat symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It may also benefit those who suffer from sleep disorders and severe depression. As a central nervous system stimulant, it speeds up and heightens bodily processes. More about the study can be found at:

Monday, March 5, 2018

InnerAct Alliance to be Featured in Lakeland Chamber of Commerce’s Nod to Nonprofits Tour Series

InnerAct Alliance to be Featured in
Lakeland Chamber of Commerce’s Nod to Nonprofits Tour Series for March

Polk County, FL – InnerAct Alliance, and its coalition partners StandUP Polk and UthMpact, are proud to be chosen by the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce to be highlighted in its Nod to Nonprofits Tour Series for the month of March.   

The Nod to Nonprofits event is held monthly to spread awareness about worthwhile local nonprofit organizations that impact our community in positive ways. It will take place on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, at 10:00 am, at the 2018 Project Prom Store, located next to Hollister store at Lakeland Square Mall, 3800 U.S. 98 North, in Lakeland. Participants will have an opportunity to see some of the prom formal wear available free of charge to high school students in need and learn more about InnerAct Alliance’s community programs. Registration and event information can be found at: r-series-8580

InnerAct Alliance, formerly the Drug Prevention Resource Center, is a nonprofit agency established in 1985 to reduce the abuse and underage use of harmful substances along with involvement in other risky behaviors while supporting positive healthy decisions through: Community Awareness and Support; Prevention Education; Economic Support; and Leadership Development. The agency serves the Hardee, Highlands and Polk County communities with prevention services including science-based education programs and awareness events that touch the lives of youth, parents, families, businesses, faith-based organizations, and others in need with an important substance abuse prevention message. The education division is comprised of a dozen professionals who teach in over 60 schools in Polk, Highlands and Hardee Counties.

In addition, the agency organizes one of the largest Red Ribbon Campaigns in the state of Florida, including Polk County’s Red Ribbon Half Marathon, 5K, and Kids Run events in November, to inspire individuals and families to achieve healthy drug-free lifestyle goals and show support for bullying and substance abuse prevention. The Red Ribbon Run, scheduled on November 10, 2018 at Lake Mirror, is a popular family participation event that brings together half marathon and 5K runners, over 1,500 kids run participants, volunteers, and local business partners, sponsors, and spectators. InnerAct Alliance also serves as the fiscal agent for the StandUP Polk (adult-based) and UthMpact (youth-based) Coalitions for a Drug-Free Polk, collaborations which lead community efforts to reduce underage use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. StandUP Polk and UthMpact partner in events like Project Prom and the Annual Prevention Summit year-round.

For additional information on the March 21st event, please contact InnerAct Alliance Executive Director, Angie Ellison, at (863) 802-0777.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

2018 Project Prom Store Ribbon Cutting Saturday, March 3, 2018

2018 Project Prom Store Ribbon Cutting
Saturday, March 3, 2018

Polk County, FL – It’s almost Prom Time but for some teens the expense of this social event could make attending prom out of reach. InnerAct Alliance and their youth coalition, UthMpact, are proud to present the 6th year of the Project Prom effort to provide formal wear and accessories to deserving high school students and educate youth and parents in our community about the risky behaviors that may occur during prom and graduation time.

A special Project Prom Store Ribbon Cutting will be held this Saturday, March 3, 2018, at 10:00 am, at Lakeland Square Mall, 3800 U.S. 98 North, in Lakeland. Lakeland City Commissioner, Stephanie Madden, will be on hand to cut the ribbon for the grand opening of the 2018 Project Prom Store, located next to the Hollister store. Participants will have an opportunity to see the store, preview prom formal wear, and learn about UthMpact’s community programs.

Student Shopping Days to distribute prom formal wear to those in need will take place on the following Saturdays in March and April, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm: March 3, 10, 17 and April 7 at the Project Prom Store. High school students with a Polk County School ID can sign a Project Prom Pledge to celebrate drug-free and receive their formal wear for FREE. The local community may support the Project Prom effort by donating gently used dresses, shoes, purses, jewelry, men’s suits, ties, and accessories. Donations may be dropped off at the InnerAct Alliance office, 621 South Florida Avenue in Lakeland, weekdays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

The goal for Project Prom is to promote a fun and safe prom night. Since 2013, over 1,000 prom ensembles have been provided to young women and men. UthMpact students work with Leadership Lakeland and business leaders throughout Polk County to help youth develop crucial leadership skills. Please contact Samantha Barwig, UthMpact Coordinator, at (863) 802-0777, and visit the event Facebook page at for additional information.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Holidays Are a Great Time to Talk to Your Kids!

Holidays Are a Great Time to Talk to Your Kids!

Alcohol is a part of many holiday traditions as folks enjoy a festive cocktail or toast in the New Year with friends and family. It’s fine for adults who are drinking responsibly, but it is important to remember that children are careful observers of adult behavior. With this in mind, the holidays are a great time to talk with your children about drinking alcohol.

You want your children to be well-informed and that means knowing the risk of drinking alcohol long before they are tempted or faced with peer pressure. Tell them about the dangerous effects of alcohol on their developing brain. Explain that the teen brain is still growing and changing until about the age of 24. Alcohol can cause permanent damage during this crucial developmental period. Repeated exposure to alcohol during adolescence can have long term negative effects on the brain, especially for mood and judgement. It could critically affect teens’ ability to perform tasks, such as driving, doing math, and competing in sports.  

Always remember that, as a parent, YOU play a major role in shaping your kids’ attitudes towards alcohol. Be firm that you don’t want your children drinking AT ALL!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from UthMpact

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays 
from UthMpact

UthMpact participated in the 37th Annual Lakeland Christmas Parade on Thursday, December 7th. To celebrate the theme "A Night at the North Pole", UthMpact decorated their float with a candy cane twist. Over 40,000 spectators cheered as UthMpact showcased their social norms facts and the importance of living a sober life.

Our UthMpact team members owe a huge Thank You to Glenn and Lecinda Steele, special friends who donated their time and trailer to make the UthMpact float a success.