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STRATEGY 2 – Enhance Skills 

Build positive social and decision making capabilities in the form of workshops, seminars or activities, training, technical assistance, distance learning, strategic planning retreats, parenting classes and model programs in school.

Target youth, parents and adult and adult caregivers, health care professionals and educators/youth services professionals on middle school through post-secondary levels.

Print out this document and check off the strategies that are most relevant to your community.

  • Collaborate with coalition health care partners to provide training to your target audiences.  The training can include
    • Identifying Rx abuse and addiction warning signs.
    • Local teen usage rates.
    • Skill building on how to educate teens about the problem including proper medicine taking etiquette.
    • Dealing with Rx abuse in the workplace and what to do in case of an emergency.
    • Information on access to in- and out-patient treatment and recovery services.
  • Offer this training in person or virtually, outside of office hours, during coffee breaks or as brown bag lunch presentations.
  • Collaborate with local licensing boards to arrange for continuing education credits.
  • Create or enhance an Rx abuse prevention module that could be incorporated into elementary, middle and high school health curricula. Focus on
    • Proper medicine use and misuse.
    • Enhancing refusal skills.
    • What to do if a friend has an Rx abuse and addiction problem.
    • The training could include simulations, games and other class activities.
  • Create and offer a five-minute prevention/intervention pitch to be inserted into hospital doctor and law enforcement briefings, in-service training activities and local board of pharmacists and medical association meetings.
  • Create an Rx abuse prevention speakers’ bureau and resource library that professionals can use when preparing presentations. Collaborate with your local recovery programs to identify age-appropriate presenters.
  • Create and disseminate Rx abuse prevention briefs that describe each medication, addiction potential, overdose implications and treatment and recovery resources.
  • Provide targeted training to health care professionals who work with young people (e.g., pediatricians, dentists, orthodontists, allergists, school nurses, social workers).
  • Ask them to incorporate “the three A’s” intervention strategy
    • Ask about Rx use and watch for signs of potential abuse.
    • Advise patients about proper medicine use.
    • Assist patients who may be experiencing challenges with Rx abuse and addiction.
  • Collaborate with the local medical and pharmacy schools, other health care training institutions, law enforcement and emergency response departments, hospitals and clinics to ensure that Rx abuse prevention is on their radar. Craft and deliver Rx prevention/intervention modules as requested. Promote physician training on proper prescribing and disposal strategies.
  • Encourage drug manufacturers to provide doctors with sample patient assessments, fool-proof prescription pads and other tools that are designed to prevent Rx abuse.
  • Support the development of an Rx abuse hotline, and if a hotline already exists, ensure that the counselors have the latest information about current Rx drugs of abuse.