Friday, March 1, 2024

First Project Prom Student Shopping Day Tomorrow – Saturday March 2


InnerAct Alliance and UthMpact kick off our 12th year of Project Prom tomorrow with the Grand Opening of the Project Prom Store at 11:00 am at Lakeland Square Mall (entrance to the right of Dillards) to provide free formal wear to deserving high school students and educate about risky behaviors during prom and graduation.

Tomorrow is the first of 4 Student Shopping Days on Saturdays March 2, March 16, March 30, and April 6 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Students with a Polk School ID may sign a pledge promising to celebrate alcohol and substance-free and receive complimentary dresses, suits, and accessories!

Since 2023, over 5,500 prom ensembles have been provided at no cost to young men and women in Polk County.

Follow us on Facebook at UthMpact Polk and Project Prom of Polk and visit,

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Happy Leap Day 2024!


This February is a little longer than usual - it's a leap year - and today, Thursday, February 29th - is Leap Day! 🐸

The calendar oddity means this year is actually 366 days long instead of the regular 365. Without Leap Day, our calendars would be out of sync with the seasons.📆

Let's celebrate the uniqueness of having an extra day to enjoy this month!

Thursday Thoughts: Don’t Let Stigma Be a Barrier to Seeking Help

Many different barriers can prevent people from seeking help to deal with substance use and addiction. But one in particular leads people to suffer in solitude - Stigma.

Substance use disorder has often been stigmatized. There is a common misconception that addiction is an individual's fault, rather than a disease. This can lead to personal shame and silence and make people less likely to seek help. 

Don't let Stigma be a barrier to seeking help. Reach out to friends and loved ones who will be there for you no matter what. There's nothing to be ashamed of - help is always available. The Partnership to End Addiction offers FREE trained helpline support by phone, email, or text, as well as online support groups. If you or someone you know needs help, visit 

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Health Alert: Injectable Liquid Fentanyl


The fentanyl crisis continues to be a very real concern. Fentanyl misuse typically involves injecting or smoking illicitly-manufactured fentanyl (IMG) sold on the street as counterfeit tablets or powders. Experts warm about recent theft of injectable pharmaceutical fentanyl in liquid form from hospitals, clinics, and medical supply houses in Panama, the United States, and Europe. Injectable solutions have also been reported in Nigeria, Columbia, El Salvador, Argentina, Brazil, and Costa Rica - countries that do not currently have a major illicit opioid problem.

Illicitly-manufactured fentanyl liquid solutions pose similar lethal dosing dangers to counterfeit pills and powders. Drug traffickers often mix the solution with xylazine, cocaine, and other fentanyl compounds to sell more product and generate larger profits. When mixed, drug dosage rates can vary leading to higher overdose death rates and lethal outbreaks.  

Officials are concerned that this could have severe implications for the introduction of fentanyl into drug markets in places that have not yet been exposed to illicit opioid use as well as worsen the existing fentanyl crisis in the United States.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Health Alert: Tianeptine or Gas Station Heroin


Health officials in the northeast warn about a growing drug threat called Tianeptine, available at gas station convenience stores and sold online, that is causing severe opioid-like effects and putting more kids and teens at risk as it spreads to other states.  

Neptune’s Fix Elixir, ZaZa, Pegasus, and Tiana, known as “gas station heroin”, are products containing Tianeptine that affect brain chemicals and offer potential for abuse. This tricyclic antidepressant has not been approved by the FDA for medical use. Tianeptine interacts with opioid receptors in the brain and can mimic euphoria and effects of heroin. Tianeptine use can cause seizures, electrolyte abnormality, flu-symptoms, depression, anxiety, coma – even respiratory failure and death. 

These products - sold in pills, powder, and in fruit-flavored drinks - are highly addictive. Because they are easily accessible, kids may mistake them as being safe. With so many substances readily available online or at local stores, parents are urged to talk to children about the risks. Tianeptine is not currently controlled under the Controlled Substances Act, but recently Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody filed an emergency rule categorizing tianeptine as a Schedule 1 substance. 

Overview of Tianeptine:

Monday, February 26, 2024

Happy Monday Motivation!


Sometimes Mondays hit hard, but it helps to know you're not alone...we all seek Monday motivation😅 Let's power through the day together - You Got This! 💪

Stress, Anxiety, Depression = Risk Factors for Youth Substance Use


Substance use often begins during adolescence placing youth at risk for fatal overdose and substance use disorders in adulthood. To help prevent or reduce use among adolescents, it is important to first understand the motivations for alcohol, marijuana, and other drug use.

Findings from a new study published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (2024) found that teens report seeking relief from stress, anxiety, and depression as top reasons for substance use. Finding proactive ways to reduce stress, learn healthy coping skills, and reach out for support can help improve mental health and lessen motivation for substance use. 

Simple healthy lifestyle behaviors are a good place to start - children should engage in regular physical activity, eat a healthy breakfast and other nutritious foods, and get adequate, quality sleep. 

Integrating substance use prevention with healthy behavior promotion can be a positive and cost-effective strategy for enhancing both physical and mental wellbeing of youth and adults. 

Read the new study report: