Singer Mario knows from first-hand experience how it is to grow up with a parent with substance abuse problems and now he wants to use what he knows to help other kids.
The Baltimore native, whose mother has suffered from drug abuse for years, is using his non-profit to help prevent substance abuse in middle and high school students in the Baltimore area.
The Mario Do Right Foundation will house the program at the REACH! School, a Baltimore school that focuses on getting kids into college.
The program will promote healthy alternatives to smoking, alcohol and drug use. It will also teach the kids techniques to resist peer pressure to engage in these activities. There will also be referrals for parents to the University of Maryland Medical Center for substance abuse treatment.
Mario will interact with the kids in the program through SKYPE.
Studies have found parental substance abuse interrupts a child’s normal development, which places the child at higher risk for emotional, physical and mental health problems, directors of Mario's foundation have found.
Mario has been very outspoken on how drugs have impacted his family. In 2007, he documented how his mother’s heroin addiction has affected his childhood and life on MTV in a documentary titled “I Won’t Love You To Death”.