Put these ideas into action in October and throughout the year.
National Substance Abuse Prevention Month is observed in October every year to raise awareness about drug and alcohol abuse and addiction, and promote effective strategies for prevention.
This mission is especially timely, as opioid abuse continues to be one of the largest public health crises in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, overdoses involving any type of opioid resulted in more than 80,000 deaths in 2021, a record high.
This October, you have the opportunity to focus on this critical topic in your school, community education program, or workplace to help proactively raise awareness of opioid abuse. If you’re not sure where to start, try one of these opioid abuse prevention ideas.
Utilizing Fatal Vision educational tools
While the topic of opioid abuse prevention is steadily becoming more prominent, there still aren’t many hands-on tools available for educators to help engage their audience and drive their lessons home. One exception is the Fatal Vision® opioid goggles and the accompanying GET IT 2GETHER™ activity kit. These tools help educators safely illustrate the ways opioid abuse can impact our bodies, including divided attention failure, nodding out, contrast sensitivity impairment, and heaviness in the extremities.
The Innocorp team worked alongside experts in opioid abuse and addiction for years to develop these goggles, making them an incredibly effective and engaging opioid abuse prevention idea to help highlight the severe consequences associated with inappropriately using these drugs. Whether you’re incorporating the goggles as part of a classroom activity, workplace wellness fair, or community event, this opioid abuse prevention activity will help drive your lessons home and leave a lasting impact on participants.
Fatal Vision also offers a series of opioid education DVDs covering topics such as fentanyl, how addiction impacts the brain, teenage drug use, prescription drug abuse, and more. These DVDs are a great fit for a variety of settings and audiences, including school- and community-based education programs and workplaces.
Host an awareness event
Depending on where your program is based, you may choose to host an event during October as part of National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. These could include a community night out focused on opioid abuse awareness, a school assembly, or a “lunch and learn” session for your workplace.
As part of these events, consider including speakers or panel discussions, demonstrations of first aid techniques like administering Narcan, presentations about the dangers of opioid use, information about addiction treatment resources, and hands-on activities using Fatal Vision® opioid goggles.
Bring in a speaker with experience
Speakers with personal experience with the consequences of opioid abuse, such as drug and addiction experts, law enforcement officials, health professionals, or family members of someone with opioid addiction, can also be a phenomenal resource depending on your program setting and audience. Sometimes offering a personal look into how opioid addiction can impact peoples’ lives can help increase your audience’s engagement and learning retention.
While they may seem “old school,” hanging up posters can still be an incredibly effective opioid abuse prevention idea. Posters and other printed materials with information about National Substance Abuse Prevention Month in general, the effects of opioid use, the signs of addiction, and resources for addiction treatment can be displayed in public spaces such as community centers, schools, and workplaces. These posters can serve as a reminder to stay educated about opioid addiction and offer resources to those in need.
If you’re hosting an event, posters can also be an effective way to spread the word and help get the event on more community members’ radar.
This National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, try out one of these opioid abuse prevention ideas in your school, community, or workplace educational programs. From engaging hands-on activities to firsthand accounts of the consequences of opioid use, these ideas will help capture your audience’s attention and help raise awareness of the opioid abuse epidemic.
If you have questions about any of our opioid abuse prevention products and how you can utilize them in your program during National Substance Abuse Prevention Month and beyond, contact our team today!