Prescription Drug Safety for High School

The Educator Perspective

Course Overview

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.

Read more: Five Reasons Why High Schools Need Prescription Drug Education

The Curriculum: 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.

Course Topics:

  • 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

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Quick Facts

  • No Cost

    Free for Teachers and Students

  • Suggested Placement:


  • Standards:

    National Health Education Standards (NHES)

Featured Lessons

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

Understanding Prescriptions

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain the importance of always following instructions precisely
  • Read and understand prescription labels, including caution or risk statements
  • Store and dispose of unused drugs safely and appropriately

Refusal Skills

Learning Objectives:

  • Resist peer pressure and other influences
  • 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
Harvard Case Study

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