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A local counseling group and hockey team recently teamed up to help spread awareness about substance abuse.

On Oct. 27 the Allen Americans joined Frisco-based Access Counseling Group to help bring attention to substance abuse.

The Americans’ game against the Idaho Steelheads was dedicated to promoting drug prevention.

Irene Little, CEO of Access Counseling Group, said the partnership with the Americans helped in the effort, saying it’s always good to have professional athletes supporting the cause.

“It was great to partner with the Allen Americans,” Little said. “A lot of companies in the area don’t want to talk about addiction. But the Allen Americans said this is real, so let’s talk about it. Let’s do something different.”

Little said school counselors from across the area helped the support the event including those from Plano ISD and Winfree Academy in Richardson. Little said McKinney, Allen, Prosper and Lovejoy ISDs helped promote the event.

“This event was about having the conversation and not sweeping it under the rug,” Little said. “It’s about being drug free.”

Little said those in attendance received information on a variety of topics, such as how to handle stress and what to look for in a loved one who could be dealing with substance abuse.

“We’re really pushing the message of recovery,” Little said.

Leading up to the event, families could click on a link to receive discounted tickets to the game. A portion of the proceeds from those sales went toward a nonprofit organization called Because of Brandon, which provides sober alternative social settings to young people in recovery.

In addition, Little and her staff worked with Frisco ISD’s clinical team later that week.

“We focused on providing a safe place for students once they transition back from treatment or alternative school settings,” Little said.

She said Access Counseling Group plans to work with community groups for future events to continue raising awareness about substance abuse.