1 in 3 teens believe there is “nothing wrong” with using prescription medicines without a prescription once in a while.

– Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2008

Prescription drug abuse and misuse is a growing issue, with opioid abuse now the leading cause of accidental deaths in the U.S. Reversing this trend will require a focused, population-wide approach. With one in five high school seniors reporting that they have misused prescription drugs, reaching students early is now more important than ever.

Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention is an innovative digital course that arms high school students with the knowledge and tools to make healthy, informed decisions when it comes to prescription medications. Through interactive scenarios and self-guided activities, students learn the facts about drugs, how to properly use and dispose of them, and how to step in when faced with a situation involving misuse.

Topics Covered:

  • Opioids, stimulants, and depressants
  • Proper prescription drug use, storage, and disposal
  • Brain and body: the science of addiction
  • Simulations: refusal and bystander skills
  • Debunking common myths 

Course Overview

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  • Science of Addiction

    Learning Objectives:

    - Explain that anyone can become addicted to prescription drugs
    - Describe how drugs impact the brain and can lead to addiction problems
    - Define terms, such as “withdrawal” and “tolerance” and relationships to addiction
    - Describe how many addicts can manage their addictions and try to find recovery in a supportive environment

  • Understanding Prescriptions

    Learning Objectives:

    - Explain the importance of always following instructions precisely
    - Describe the factors that doctors consider when writing prescriptions
    - Read and understand prescription labels, including caution or risk statements
    - Store and dispose of unused drugs safely and appropriately

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  • Refusal Skills

    Learning Objectives:

    - Articulate that most students do not misuse prescription drugs and would support a friend’s decision not to use drugs
    - Resist peer pressure and other influences to not take prescription drugs outside of a professionals advice
    - Step in to support a friend who is being pressured into using drugs or selling or giving their pills to someone else
    - Describe the potential side effects of taking prescription drugs outside of a doctor’s prescription