In honor of National Recovery Month, NASDAQ selected Foundation for a Drug-Free World and President of The Americas Chapter Dr. Bernard Fialkoff of Roslyn to ring the bell, signaling the opening of the stock market Sept. 15.
A leading voice in global drug education and prevention, the Foundation for a Drug-Free World has particular relevance today. Many dental publications have already covered the success of the drug education program and its growing popularity among the dental field.
From 1999 to 2015, more than 183,000 Americans died of opioid overdose according to the Financial Times, and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the number of annual fatalities has quadrupled over the same period with an estimated 2.6 million people now addicted to drugs derived from the opium poppy.
“We are here today because of the scourge that is going through all our families and the amount of kids who are dying in our cities,” Fialkoff said. “We are here today for the Foundation for a Drug Free World, which is the largest educational program of its kind in the world, so we can help our families to fight against this drug epidemic. It’s time that we started to fight back. It’s time that we stopped this addiction which is taking away our kids’ lives and their future. We want to thank Nasdaq for this time and for supporting us.”
Attending the bell-ringing ceremony were Foundation for a Drug-Free World volunteers and supporters, including Miss New York 2015 Jamie Lynn Macchia, musician Rappn Tate Da Great, Rabbi Levy Abdurakhmanov, 2016 Miss Africa USA Cultural Ambassador Noella Nsamwa, and drug education presenter Darla DeLeon of Steered Straight.
Among the government officials who have recognized Fialkoff’s chapter for its contributions to the Greater New York area are U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Grace Meng, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and New York City Public Advocate Leticia James.
The bell ringing ceremony appeared on Bloomberg News, CNBC Fox and BNN and Foundation for a Drug-Free World drug prevention public service announcements played on the NASDAQ’s Times Square electronic billboard for an hour the same morning.
An avid humanitarian and leader in the dental field, Fialkoff founded, sponsors and is president of the Americas Chapter of the Foundation for a Drug Free World. Since 2006, his chapter has produced more than 1,200 free drug education events for more than 120,000 New York schoolchildren and teens, trained thousands of educators and law enforcement on the program’s free curriculum, and opened national office’s in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti and Guatemala.
The ringing of the bell marked the launch of the “Drug Free Smiles” campaign, a dental and medical field-focused drug awa
reness campaign that Fialkoff created, eliciting the support and participation of dentists around the United States and internationally to join in on this positive and healthy message for patients, patients’ families, dentists’ families and communities.
The Drug Free Smile campaign is the dental practitioners campaign – its popular approach to showing that happy smiles, healthy smiles, and confident smiles are also drug-free smiles.
“It’s all in the name of promoting being healthy, taking care of your body and smile, and being drug free,” Fialkoff said.
Dentists can elicit the support of government officials to promote and endorse the dental field’s Drug Free Smile campaigns at open-house events, community fairs and other town hall type meetings.
To learn more about Foundation for a Drug Free World and the Drug Free Smiles campaign, email DrFialkoff@BaysideDentist.com.