EVERFI Inc. today announced a new educational initiative to empower Maryland high school students with the skills to make safe and healthy decisions about prescription medications and understand the dangers of misusing these drugs. The company’s online Prescription Drug Safety course will be provided as a pilot program at no cost to 12 schools across Carroll, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties, thanks to a grant from the David and June Trone Family Foundation.
With this pilot, Maryland becomes the 16th state to have access to the high school course through the Prescription Drug Safety Network. EVERFI aims to secure additional funding to support implementation of the program more broadly across the state. A college version of the course is also being used across the country, including by three Maryland universities – Johns Hopkins, Frostburg State, and Towson – to educate incoming freshmen. Both courses use an evidence-based, public health approach and meets the Centers for Disease Control’s National Health Education Standards.
The Prescription Drug Safety course covers topics such as the principles of addiction, proper prescription drug use and disposal, and the medical uses and potential dangers of using different types of drugs, including opioids, stimulants, depressants without a prescription.
An important component of the course is teaching students how to deal with situations involving misuse. Through a series of interactive scenarios, students explore the thoughts of their peers and debunk common myths when a classmate offers drugs to help with studying. They also step into the shoes of a student who is asked for their leftover medications — and see the real results of their choices.
In launching this program, The Trone Foundation supports the Prescription Drug Safety Network, the nation’s first public-private initiative to combat prescription drug abuse by providing prevention education in schools. The Network represents a diverse group of state leaders, healthcare companies,
pharmacies, and foundations with a common mission of making a lasting impact of the health and safety of their communities.
“Prescription drug abuse has dealt a devastating blow to communities across the country, yet there are few initiatives aimed at positively preventing the abuse before it occurs,” said EVERFI CEO Tom Davidson. “This network just got much stronger with the addition of David & June Trone. With their influence as community leaders their voices will help us make significant progress to combatting this crisis through prevention education that gets out in front of the problem.”
“In December 2016, I received a call that my nephew had gone missing. A few days later, we learned that he was the victim of a fatal opioid overdose,” said David Trone. “Prevention education is a crucial part of fighting our national opioid epidemic. I’m proud to support EVERFI in their efforts to help Maryland students get that education.”
A full description of the course can be viewed here.