As the United States’ opioid epidemic kills over 100 Americans each and every day, Safer Lock and SafeLaunch take primary youth prevention to the skies. Learn how this innovative prevention partnership aims to stop youth drug misuse and abuse, and prevent accidental poisonings. It all begins with a small white airplane, some buckets of paint, and a child’s dreams for the future.
Gatekeeper Innovation, parent company of the Safer Lock, is proud to partner with a nonprofit that’s literally taking youth drug and alcohol education to the skies. In SafeLaunch’s innovative Flights Above Addiction program, children have a chance to paint their own dreams on the fuselage of a white Cessna 182, flown into aviation events by pilot Ron Cuff. First, though, they participate in an interactive lesson about the science of addiction. “We tell the young artists that a great life is like a great flight: You need to plan your destination and keep a clear head to arrive safely,” explains Ron.
As they envision and then illustrate their dreams, the children have the chance to feel the possibility of flight and imagine the vast possibilities of a life undamaged by drugs or alcohol. While the kids are painting away, volunteer educators share evidence-based prevention principles with parents to help them build their children’s bright futures – free of alcohol or drugs.
Visitors to the SafeLaunch event at the Santa Barbara-area Goleta Lemon Festival on September 16-17 received a SafeLaunch Safety Kit that includes a Safer Lock abuse-deterrent combination locking cap and medication bottle, a Premier Biotech drug test kit and the SafeLaunch Parent Pledge card. These prevention resources are sponsored by Signature Flight Support, the world’s largest Fixed Base Operation providing flight support services, fuel, handling, maintenance and hangarage for private aviation worldwide.
SafeLaunch is an innovative non-profit focused on primary addiction prevention. “We started SafeLaunch to educate parents about brain development,” says SafeLaunch co-founder Janet Rowse. “And, we are grateful for the support of our business partnerships who share our commitment to keeping children’s brains safe so they can have the opportunity to have a great life. ” She and co-founder Ron Cuff have taken that education to the skies with their Flights Above Addiction program that participates in West Coast regional aviation events and airshows.
But primary prevention calls for so much more than aspirational images on the fuselage of a plane. Among other things, it takes tools and resources, and that’s where Safer Lock comes into the picture. As Safer Lock co-founder Nathan Langley points out, “In the world of medication misuse and accidental poisonings, prevention is king. We’re honored to have this opportunity to work with SafeLaunch and provide abuse-deterrent packaging that helps keep medications out of the wrong hands.”
On a poignant note, SafeLaunch invites parents from across the country to memorialize a child’s life tragically cut short by drug or alcohol use. As Janet Rouse explains, “When parents send us their children’s pictures and stories, we permanently affix their names and ages to the underside of the wings of the Cessna, and we put their stories in the Wind Beneath our Wings album that we share with young families at the airshows.” At aviation events, those names and ages are a silent tribute to lives lost. In stark contrast, the colorful images painted on the plane show young dreamers’ imaginations of lives free of tobacco, alcohol and drugs… lives where the sky’s the limit as dreams take flight.