(CelebrityAccess) — While the Vans Warped Tour is heading into its final year, that hasnt’ stopped festival founder Kevin Lyman from innovating and his latest brainstorm is an initiative to help combat the scourge of opioid addiction.
FEND (Full Energy Not Drugs), consists of an education campaign driven by a mobile phone app. The FEND app helps to educate users about the issue through the process of gamification — engaging users through game-like experiences that serve to illuminate key concepts about opioids. As well, the app will provide a user with information about local resources that may be available to them in order to obtain help with addiction.
In a recent interview with Forbes, Lyman talked about his motivations for launching the FEND initiative.
“We’re so fractured, but there are common ground things we all have to figure out. For me, the opioid initiative is bipartisan. Those conversations you have with people, it used to be about the economy when we were going through the recessions and potentially depression we were in. Every day to me is like a mini family reunion. There are people I’ve grown up with out there, I see them once a year but they come and tell me, we catch up. And it was a recurring theme, it would drift to the topic of opioids, that someone in their family was either in rehab, they knew people that died. I felt they were helpless in their minds. They feel like in the small communities and towns and places we go they felt like no one is doing anything to help with this problem,” Lyman told Forbes.
Lyman, who has experience with the opioid crisis through his work as a board member for MusiCares, an organization that provides a variety of services for folks in the music industry, including assistance with drug rehabilitation.
“The first phase of this is an education thing. We’re finding there’s just a general lack of knowledge of what are opioids, the storage of opioids when you get hurt and they give you something is that potentially addictive? We’re finding kids are becoming addicted because they twist their ankles in soccer, they’re a cheerleader, they’re prescribed something and no one really explains to them that this is an addictive thing or can be. So we’re gonna start with basically an education,” Lyman told Forbes.
“We’re planning on building this out and then going to the point where hopefully the next phase will be working with people in recovery already and engaging their counselors, their families, their spouses. It’s almost like if they stay up and do all the things to keep themselves healthy we’re gonna reward them on a daily, if not weekly basis. It’s a big plan and we’re gonna get hopefully a baseline here with the Warped tour this summer with our fans,” he added.
The Vans Warped Tour starts its final North American run on June 21st at the Pomona Fairgrounds in Pomona, CA.