We want to help people — including young people — understand the risks of misusing prescription medications, including opioids.
Every day our nation faces tragic stories of struggles with opioid addiction and lives lost to prescription and illicit opioid overdose. We are deeply concerned about the toll the opioid crisis is having on individuals and communities across the nation. As a manufacturer of prescription opioid medications, Purdue Pharma is committed to supporting meaningful solutions to address this crisis.
We want to help people — including young people — understand the risks of misusing prescription medications, including opioids. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health, states, “after alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco, prescription drugs (taken nonmedically) are among the most commonly used drugs by 12th graders.”1
That’s why we support school-based prevention education efforts, including being a member of the Prescription Drug Safety Network, a public-private initiative created by EVERFI, a leading prevention education innovator. The potential benefits of high school prevention education are significant, with school-based programs shown to save an estimated $18 in substance-abuse-related medical care, state and local government costs, and lost productivity over a lifetime for every $1 spent.2,3 Founded in collaboration with educators and prevention experts, and launched with support from members of the healthcare industry, as well as community and state leaders, this national coalition brings an innovative digital experience into the classroom that is designed to empower students with knowledge, skills, and strategies to help prevent prescription drug misuse and abuse. Real-world scenarios drive home the lessons and provide students with tips on how to spot and help a friend in trouble.
More than 57,000 students at more than 800 high schools nationwide accessed the digital Prescription Drug Safety prevention curriculum in the 2017-2018 academic year and increased their knowledge on six different learning modules — including the science of addiction, safe use, refusal skills, and supporting a friend — by an average of 49 percent.4
Nearly 100,000 students have already participated in this course in schools across the country through the efforts of the Network. We look forward to seeing the Network’s impact grow and to helping more students learn these valuable skills in the coming school year, and beyond.
We hope that others will embrace the importance of prevention-focused education. We urge you to learn more about the national initiative and help broaden the reach of the Prescription Drug Safety Network.
While no one intervention alone will solve this crisis, partnerships, determination, and innovative approaches are steps in the right direction.
1 National Institute on Drug Abuse. Misuse of Prescription Drugs. January 2018. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/misuse-prescription-drugs/summary. Accessed August 21, 2018.
2 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Substance Abuse Prevention Dollars and Cents: A Cost-Benefit Analysis. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/cost-benefits-prevention.pdf. Accessed August 21, 2018.
3 Prescription Drug Safety Network. The Case for Prescription Drug Education. Retrieved from http://info.everfi.com/rs/410-YCZ-984/images/White Paper_Case for Rx Drug Education.pdf. Accessed August 21, 2018.
4 Prescription Drug Safety Network. Prescription Drug Safety Course. K-12 Impact Report 2017-2018. Retrieved from https://everfi.com/networks/prescription-drug-safety-network/impact/. Accessed August 21, 2018.