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FINDING HOPE: Idaho RADAR Center aims to educate Idahoans, prevent alcohol and drug abuse

Posted: 3:57 PM, Nov 12, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-13 00:18:20-05

Cyber-security, suicide prevention, strengthening families, and overcoming drug addiction. Those are just four of dozens of topics Idahoans can learn more about through free resources available at the Idaho RADAR Center at Boise State University.

"Everything that you see in this building is free, all the print resources, all the print materials, we've got a lending library," Idaho RADAR Center Director Dan Arnold said. "So we've got DVDs with workbooks that we lend out for a three-week period."

Funded in part by grants through the Department of Health and Welfare, the center aims to educate students about the dangers of experimenting with drugs.

"If we can educate them on the risks, then hopefully we can head this thing off before it turns into a problem for them," Arnold said.

And for those already facing the problem of addiction, the RADAR Center aims to provide information about available treatment options, educating the community that rather than a moral failing, addiction is a behavioral health disease.

"There's been a tremendous amount of stigma around medication-assisted treatment for quite some time, and we need to be able to overcome that," Arnold said.

Their mission is to increase education and prevention, and in turn, hopefully, decrease the need for expensive treatment and incarceration.

"Every dollar we spend, we're saving about ten dollars on the back end in terms of treatment," Arnold said, "If we can try to get on the front end and curb that use and curb that economic impact on the front end, then we're saving society a whole bunch of money."

The center offers information on more than just drugs; Also materials about strengthening family relationships, anger management, and how to stop bullying. In just the last quarter, the RADAR Center has gotten information into the hands of more than 20,000 Idahoans.