Knox County families and students learned ways to prevent substance abuse and tackle other tough issues at the Knox County Health Department Thursday night.
The national youth-led program 'Rise Together' was brought in by the Metro Drug Coalition, which addresses topics like addiction, mental health, self-harm and bullying in a community seminar.
The program spoke to more than 3,000 Knox County students this week. Organizers said they were surprised to see students willing to push for change in their communities.
"It's one thing to come in and break down the silos and have this conversation, but it's another to make sure our message is going beyond the stage, and we've been seeing young people do exactly that," Rise Together VP of operations Nadine Machkovech said.
The group primarily works to educate children between 10-18 years old. It works with middle schools, high schools, colleges and other public settings to help youths rise and overcome challenges they face.
On top of educating students, the non-profit also talks to parents about how to address these issues with their children.
Addiction impacts some 40 million Americans, and 90% of those who struggle with addiction start before they turn 18. Suicide is also one of the leading causes of death among teens.
For more information about Rise Together, visit: www.weallrisetogether.org