Preventing Overdoses in Youth: The Case for Supplying Schools with Naloxone

September 1, 2017

Drug overdose has become a leading cause of accidental death in the United States. As the opioid epidemic devastates communities across the country, adolescents are being increasingly exposed to opioids. This upsetting trend has not shown signs of slowing, as teen and young adult overdose death rates have steadily increased since 1999.

A 2014 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) survey reported that almost half a million teens and 1.2 million young adults abused opioids and heroin during that year. In addition, a 2015 National Institutes of Health (NIH) study on drug abuse revealed that opioid abuse is the #1 cause of overdose death for 15-24 year olds and heroin abuse is the #4 cause of overdose death for the same age group after prescription and illicit drug abuse. This study also showed that teens and young adults are more than 4 times more likely to overdose on opioids today than they were 18 years ago.  

Due to these data and several incidents of drug overdose deaths in schools around the country, some school districts have begun to require school nurse facilities to be stocked with naloxone. Naloxone is an antidote that can treat narcotic overdose in emergency situations by quickly blocking opioid receptors. Many school officials, school nurses, and local politicians believe that supplying schools with the life-saving drug will give students another chance.1naloxone-kit.jpg

There has been opposition to the use of naloxone because of its cost and for fear that it will encourage more drug use; however, organizations such as the President’s Opioid Commission and The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) support making naloxone more available. NASN recognizes the responsibility school nurses have for protecting students and therefore determined that naloxone should be included in schools’ emergency preparedness response plans. NASN released a position statement emphasizing that “harm reduction approaches to [opioid pain reliever] overdose include expanding access to naloxone, an opioid overdose antidote, which can prevent overdose deaths by reversing life-threatening respiratory depression.” NASN’s rationale is based on the SAMHSA five strategic approaches to prevent overdose death:

  1. Call for help
  2. Check for signs of opioid overdose
  3. Support the person’s breathing
  4. Administer naloxone
  5. Monitor the person’s response

The NASN position statement concludes by stating the importance of preventing adolescents from ever abusing opioids.

National Health Promotion Associates, the creators of Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) (an evidence-based prevention program used in schools and communities around the world) has created a Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Module for the LST Middle School program. A study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) showed that the LST Middle School program delivered in 7th grade classrooms helped students avoid abusing prescriptions, opioids, and other drugs throughout their teen years. This new module can be used as a standalone module or as part of the LST Middle School program.

Contributing Writer: Alexandrea Adams is a senior at Dartmouth College studying Biology and Public Policy. She is currently interning at National Health Promotion Associates.

 

 

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New Prescription Drug Module to Help Shield Teens from Opioid Crisis

August 25, 2017

Schools and communities are searching for new tools to combat the prescription drug and opioid crisis, now regarded as a national emergency. National Health Promotion Associates (NHPA), the researchers behind Botvin LifeSkills Training, have risen to the challenge of helping youth avoid the dangers of prescription drug or opioid misuse/abuse and are excited to announce the release of a Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Module.

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The new LST Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Module gives teens the skills and knowledge necessary to help them avoid the misuse/abuse of opioids and prescription drugs.   It will be available in a variety of formats that will allow for both online and classroom delivery. The new module is ideal for school districts, community-based organizations, and agencies serving students ages 11 – 14.    The module is flexible enough to enhance the award-winning Botvin LifeSkills Trainingprogram or to be integrated into existing prevention programming.

The new module is designed to further enhance the effectiveness of the LST Middle School program, which has been proven to reduce opioid and prescription drug misuse.   A study funded by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) showed that the LST Middle School program delivered in 7th grade classrooms helped students avoid misusing/abusing prescriptions opioids and other drugs throughout their teen years. NHPA researchers say that the addition of this new module will reinforce the already effective LST program.

“NHPA is a leader in quality, effective evidence-based prevention education.  While our core Middle School program already has evidence demonstrating its effectiveness in reducing opioid and prescription drug misuse and abuse, the addition of this new module will help to specifically address the epidemic facing our nation.   The LST program has been tested through more than 30 years of rigorous scientific research and has identified prevention approaches that are effective, produce lasting results, and can save taxpayers a good deal of money,” said Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin, professor emeritus at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College and developer of the LST program. “Let’s stop prescription opioid abuse before it begins. Now is the time to unleash the power of prevention.”

More than 35 federally funded studies have demonstrated that LST protects teens against tobacco, alcohol, substance use, and other problem behaviors such as delinquency and violence. According to a 2013 report on the economic benefit of evidence-based prevention programs, LST produced a $38 benefit for every $1 invested in terms of reduced corrections costs, welfare and social services burden, drug and mental health treatment; and increased employment and tax revenue. LST had the highest return on investment of all substance abuse prevention curricula studied.

About Botvin LifeSkills Training
Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) is a highly acclaimed, evidence-based substance abuse and violence prevention program used in schools and communities. LST has been extensively tested and proven to reduce tobacco, alcohol, opioid, and illicit drug use by as much as 80%. Long-term follow-up studies also show that it produces prevention effects that are durable and long-lasting.  Visit www.lifeskillstraining.com for more information.


Drug Prevention Education is Key to End Opioid Epidemic

August 15, 2017

rxThe opioid crisis is now a national emergency, and we’re here to help prevent the abuse before it begins. Join us on a free webinar to learn about the all NEW LST Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Module that provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to avoid the abuse of opioids and prescription drugs. The module will be available in both digital and print formats to allow for use in a variety of educational or implementation settings.

We hope you will join us on this webinar to learn about this exciting new prevention tool for teachers and facilitators to use with the youth they serve. Click link to register (Space is limited)

 

 

Duration:  30 minutes

Click link to register:   Three dates to choose from (space is limited)

  • TUESDAY, AUG 15, 2017
  • THURSDAY, AUG 17, 2017
  • TUESDAY, AUG 22, 2017

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


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