Prescription drug abuse among students and adults continues to alarm public health scientists. Their concern is warranted: Prescription drug abuse can result in serious injury and even death, when drugs are taken in conjunction with alcohol or other substances. There is also evidence that prescription drug abuse among students can be a gateway to illicit drug use, including heroin.
Unfortunately, most substance abuse prevention strategies are focused on illicit substances and provide no content or material for prescription drugs. In the absence of responsive legislation or a concerted education effort from the pharmaceutical industry, prescription drug abuse will most likely continue to grow among students and adults.
Positive Action is uniquely positioned to confront the challenges of prescription drug abuse, because the concepts of health and medicine are covered at every grade level. Some lessons specifically address prescription drugs as a potential poison if misused. Other effective strategies are included in Drug Education Kits.
As prescription drug abuse continues to threaten students’ development, educators can teach Positive Action with confidence. Trials in Hawaii and Chicago schools have found that Positive Action decreases substance use in general, as well as the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs in particular.