EDWARDSVILLE - The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy (SOP) will engage 5th and 6th grade students in discussions about prescription drug abuse and the associated dangers during a free overnight education event.
“Locked in to Stay Out” will take place from 8 p.m. Saturday, April 21 until 7:30 a.m. Sunday, April 22 in SIUE’s Vadalabene Center. Registration is available through Tuesday, April 10 at siue.edu/pharmacy/events.
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“Research shows grade school students who participate in programs focused on prescription drug misuse are less likely to abuse prescription medications as adults,” said Dr. Jessica Kerr, professor and assistant chair of the SIUE Department of Pharmacy Practice. “We presented this novel overnight event last year and received incredible feedback that proved the positive impact this active learning opportunity had on participants.”
The event is hosted by the SOP American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP). Its Generation Rx patient care project aims to provide education to people of all ages about the potential dangers of misusing prescription medications.
The SIUE APhA-ASP chapter sought great involvement from other student chapters and individual students in the SOP to create interactive sessions and games that will provide active learning opportunities on the health, social and legal consequences surrounding misuse and abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medications. Students will engage in activities such as a rock wall, volleyball, racquetball, wallyball, basketball, indoor soccer, arts, crafts and music.
In addition to educating the students, parents are encouraged to stay for a 20-minute orientation on Saturday, April 21. Parents will be provided information regarding statistics of the opioid problem, what their children will engage in during the lock-in, and how to continue the discussion with their children after the event and throughout the challenging times during young adulthood.
The need for drug education is critical. During the past decade, there has been an increase in the number of cases documented for the misuse and abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medications among adolescents. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey reports 16.8 percent of high school students (grades 9-12) nationally use one or more prescription medications (opioids, stimulants or anti-anxiety drugs) in non-medical manners.
The 2017 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Monitoring the Future (MTF) assessment shows a decline in prescription drug misuse/abuse, however it is still alarmingly high. The statistics demonstrate that high school students are at high risk for abusing medication and illicit drugs.
The NIH funded a longitudinal analysis of three trials evaluating the implementation of a universal preventative intervention on prescription misuse in middle school students from small towns and rural communities. All three studies demonstrated that students are less likely to abuse prescription medication as a young adult (17-25 years old) if they attended a community-based prevention program. The interventions in the studies addressed general risks and protective factors for substance abuse, much like the Locked in to Stay Out event.
Other organizations or initiatives assisting with the program include the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP), Pediatric Pharmacy Association (PPAG), Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA), and the SIUE School of Pharmacy Class of 2021.
SIUE School of Pharmacy: Today’s pharmacists improve patients’ lives through the medication and education they provide. Dedicated to developing a community of caring pharmacists, the SIUE School of Pharmacy curriculum is nationally recognized as a model that offers students a unique combination of classroom education, research, community service and patient care. The School of Pharmacy’s areas of excellence include a drug design and discovery core; pediatric practice; chronic pain research and practice; and diabetes research and practice. As the only downstate Illinois pharmacy doctorate program, the SIUE School of Pharmacy is addressing the growing need for highly trained pharmacists in a rapidly growing field.
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