CENTRAL — Attorney General Alan Wilson joined Greenville County Schools on Friday at the launch of a new educational initiative aimed to empower South Carolina high school students with the skills to make safe and healthy decisions about prescription medications and understand the dangers of misusing these drugs.
The program — which will be implemented in Pickens County at D.W. Daniel High School — premiered at Mauldin High School with representatives from the student government as well as school and district leadership.
Developed by EVERFI, the program is available in select high schools across the state at no cost to the schools through support from founding members of the Prescription Drug Safety Network, which represents state and industry leaders, healthcare organizations, pharmaceutical companies and community foundations all dedicated to stemming the opioid epidemic through a national youth prevention effort, officials said.
In total, the program is being used at 14 other schools across the state.
“South Carolina ranks 9th in the nation for number of opioids being prescribed” said Wilson. “We need to proactively educate young people on making informed, healthy decisions when it comes to prescription medications so we treat the cause and not the symptom.”
The Prescription Drug Safety program uses an evidence-based, public health approach to empower high school students with the skills and knowledge they need to make safe and healthy decisions about prescription drugs.
Through interactive scenarios and self-guided activities, students learn the facts about drugs, how to properly use and dispose of them, and how to step in when faced with a situation involving misuse.
The course is aligned with the Centers for Disease Control’s National Health Education Standards and state academic standards.
“The most enlightening part of the training for me was the fact that we have been exposed and allowed to ‘give our say’ about the opioid crisis that has been gripping America,” said Ben Dority, a sophomore who’s involved in Mauldin High Student Government. “It’s an even greater opportunity that we are able to meet with the state’s attorney general and participate in a roundtable discussion. Our views as teenagers seem to be wanted, when oftentimes our voice may be discounted because of our age. History shows it is our young people who help to bring about the most systemic change in America.”
In addition to the activation in South Carolina, the Prescription Drug Safety Network has supported programs all across the nation reaching over 50,000 high school students this academic year alone.
The digital prescription drug abuse prevention course is the flagship initiative of the Prescription Drug Safety Network, the nation’s first public-private initiative to combat prescription drug abuse by providing prevention education to schools across the country.