Check out these resources to create an effective opioid prevention program.
It’s hard to open a newspaper or turn on the TV without hearing an alarming new statistic about opioid abuse and deaths from opioid overdoses these days.
The crisis is running rampant across the country, affecting people of all races, ages, and backgrounds.
Fortunately, there are several ways educators can help young people and educational program participants understand the dangers of using opioids. This includes:
- First-hand accounts
- Opening a dialogue
- Opioid goggles & program kit
Hearing directly from recovered addicts themselves is often a very powerful tool to help participants understand just how dangerous and life-altering these drugs can be. Many people believe that because these drugs can be prescribed, they are safer than street drugs, but that’s simply not true.
Thinking that prescription opioids are less dangerous can lull users into a false sense of security and provides a slippery slope toward addiction. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has several awareness campaigns that include stories of real people from all walks of life who struggled with opioid addiction and recovered. Consider incorporating these into your opioid prevention program with hands-on lessons to leave a lasting impact on participants.
Opening a dialogue
It’s not easy for young people to be open about their struggles. That’s why it’s vital to foster an open, judgment-free space where students and educators can speak freely and honestly. This small gesture can help a student feel comfortable asking for help and guidance.
Providing facts and data about opioid abuse while not judging or shaming can go a long way toward preventing it in the first place. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Discovery Education have teamed up to launch Operation Prevention to educate students about the impacts of opioids and start lifesaving conversations in the home and classroom.
Opioid goggles & program kit
Experiencing the effects of opioid use is the best tool for understanding the dangers of opioid use. Of course, it’s not safe or legal to have participants experience the drugs’ effects, but you can simulate the effects of opioid use by using Fatal Vision® Opioid Goggles, and Program Kit.
The goggles and accompanying accessories can help simulate how opioid abuse depresses the central nervous system, causing divided attention failure, nodding out, contrast sensitivity impairment, and a feeling of heaviness in the extremities. You can make this experience even more hands-on and memorable by pairing the opioid goggles with activities like GET IT 2GETHER™.
By experiencing the effects of opioid use, participants can become more aware of the severe consequences of using opioids and more likely to avoid them in the future.