Nations Baseball Targets Opioid Addiction During Ohio State Championship

This year, Nations is doing more than hosting a tournament and supporting youth baseball. The organization is also committing to stop addiction before it starts.

It’s “game on” for kids and families who are taking action to lock addiction out of homes in the Midwest. June 14 marks the start of the Nations Baseball Ohio State Championships tournament, and over 500 teams and 7000 players will gather to play ball in Columbus, Ohio at the Berliner Sports park, the country’s largest baseball venue.

This year, Nations is doing more than hosting a tournament and supporting youth baseball. The organization is also committing to stop addiction before it starts through a powerful partnership with REACH fundraising and Safer Lock’s Gatekeeper Innovation.

Playing Ball and Preventing Opioid Addiction

During the tournament, Nations Baseball is partnering with REACH fundraising to offer Safer Locks to the players’ families. Nations Baseball teams will directly benefit from all funds raised through the sale of Safer Locks, which will help offset the costs for play throughout the summer and fall months.

Players and families at the Nations Baseball Championship will also get the opportunity to meet Bob Holmes, the One-Man Volleyball Team who has made a career out of single-handedly taking on (and beating) some pretty stiff competition on the volleyball court. Holmes has beaten professional athletes and sports teams like the Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings, and more. Holmes tours the US and plays at schools, where he delivers inspiring messages that include tough topics such as bullying, suicide, and substance abuse.

Why has Nations Baseball decided to bring Safer Locks to this youth sporting tournament?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, only 3% of American households lock up their prescriptions, yet 70% of abused medications originate in the home. Teens are at particular risk because the developing brain is vulnerable to early exposure to drugs or alcohol, which can set the stage for a life-long struggle with chemical dependency. And, surprisingly, teen athletes may be even more at risk.

Teen Athletes At Higher Risk for Opioid Misuse

While teens who are involved in sports and other extracurricular activities may not seem like they’re at risk for drug experimentation or abuse, a recent study from the University of Michigan revealed the risk is real.

The study found that athletes who play at least one contact sport are at higher risk for engaging in the non-medical use of prescription opioids and heroin use.

“Male athletes may be at greater risk of both medical and nonmedical use of prescription opioids when compared to their female peers who are athletes,” stated researcher Philip Veliz, Ph.D.. “This could be due to adolescent male athletes being at a greater risk for injury.”

Researchers speculated that the physical and emotional stresses of high-level competition and injuries associated with high school athletics increased the risk of nonmedical prescription opioid use for young athletes.

“Athletes are not exempt from drug misuse and abuse. The common misconception of ‘Not my children…they’d never touch drugs’ leaves families vulnerable to the devastation of casual ‘experimentation’ that leads to addiction. This partnership marks the beginning of innovative parent education that puts a practical and effective prevention tool into the hands of Nations baseball families and - over the next year - more than a million American homes,” explains Sandy Hancock, the VP of Sales for Gatekeeper Innovation. “With the simple but powerful Safer Lock, we can help deter drug abuse where it so often starts – inside the home.”

Safer Lock is an abuse-deterrent prescription bottle designed to help prevent kids of all ages from accessing prescription medications.

REACH, a leading provider of fundraising products and anti-bullying services to schools and sports associations throughout the U.S. is committed to placing 1,000,000 Safer Locks this coming year in the communities they serve, starting with the players’ families. Looks like a home run for Nations Baseball Ohio players and their families!

A woman looking at her phone.


Image of an open prescription bottle with spilled pills.
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