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Faith-based event to help youth stay away from drugs and overcome addiction


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IDAHO FALLS— A local nonprofit organization is helping kids understand how important it is to stay away from drugs by providing a free event coming up this Saturday.

“We are inviting parents with all their kids so they can see the resources that are available,” said Allen Abood, co-founder of Soldiers of Hope. “Even if it’s not your kid, everybody knows somebody that is fighting addiction and going through this, and (parents should know) that there is help here and that all of these resources are available.”

Abood and his wife created the nonprofit group called Soldiers of Hope in early 2019 based on their experiences dealing with addiction. The nonprofit is about bringing awareness to overdose and addiction and helping the community.

“Eighteen years ago, I was living on the side of the 91 freeway in a little green tent, completely homeless, a complete addict, eating out of trash bins,” Abood told in a previous interview in August. “It wasn’t anything more than the grace of God that picked me up and brought me here to Idaho, and ever since then, the Lord has put so many different things in front of me and helped me.”

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Abood said the free music and faith-based event this Saturday, called ‘It’s Your Season,’ will be at Rise Church at 502 2nd St. in Idaho Falls. Pastor Nick from the church is helping with the event, along with Dwayne Heckathorn from Crossbridge Productions.

“It’s going to be about recovery, it’s going to be about Jesus, it’s going to be about singing good music. Jesus is very important to us and important to my getting well and getting better and getting on my feet,” Abood said.

Abood said there will be testimonies shared from recovering addicts, and the music will be about their life recovering through Jesus. The doors open at 5 p.m., and the show starts at 6 p.m. The event will most likely last until 9 p.m.

“It’s your season to rise, to come up! Time to make a difference, time to get out there and do something about it,” he said.

Abood told there will be several resources available at the event for those who need it like Eastern Idaho Public Health, Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline, and the Bonneville Youth Development Council.

According to Get Healthy Idaho, there were 134 deaths in Idaho related to overdoses involving opioids in 2019, the most recent year available. There were 4,140 emergency department visits related to drug overdose that same year.

Soldiers of Hope can be reached at (208) 357-6220 if you or someone you know is struggling and needs help.

Click here for drug prevention resources from Eastern Idaho Public Health.