New Study on Overdose Lifeline's Youth-Focused Opioid Education Program Offers Results

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Results indicate that the youth program is able to significantly increase youths’ understanding of the risks associated with prescription pain pills; the similarity between heroin and prescription pain pills; and youths’ awareness of the purpose of naloxone.

youth opioid prevention program

Youth-Focused Opioid Prevention Education Program

Education is one of the most critical tools we have in the prevention of opioid misuse and overdose. Bringing this program to communities helps address the root issues of this crisis in a particularly vulnerable and malleable group – youth.

Overdose Lifeline, a 501©(3) not-for-profit organization in Indianapolis, Indiana, that is dedicated to education, prevention and harm reduction efforts in response to the opioid crisis, had just released the findings from a study of their educational program, This is (Not) About Drugs (TINAD.)

Justin Phillips, Founder of Overdose Lifeline, says; “Education is one of the most critical tools we have in the prevention of opioid misuse and overdose. Bringing this program to communities helps address the root issues of this crisis in a particularly vulnerable and malleable group – youth.”

Currently, 22 U.S. states, leveraging 390+ strategic community partners, are certified and deploying this critical, time-sensitive, program. The brief intervention is a complement to foundational evidence-based programs such as Botvin Lifeskills and Too Good for Drugs and is designed to raise awareness to substance misuse, with a special emphasis on prescription opioids.

TINAD is an in-class program that teaches teens about the risks of nonprescribed opioid and heroin use. The program includes a guided discussion and a film which finds twelve young people, all affected by the opioid crisis, sharing their personal stories for a peer-to-peer learning approach. Participants in TINAD learn about the risks of misusing prescription opioids, that prescription opioids are the same class of drug as heroin, how misusing prescription opioids can lead to addiction or heroin use, that overdose is possible with prescription opioids, and how to recognize the signs of an opioid overdose and to call 911. TINAD also encourage students to make good choices and to ask for help and access resources for making decisions about their own body and health.

Conducted by the Public Policy Institute at Indiana University, the study examined the efficacy and results of the program in a sample of the population to which the program is targeted. The study included a treatment group, youth who received the TINAD program, and a control group, youth who did not initially partake in the program.

The study found that after participating in the TINAD program:

  • Students in the treatment group were significantly more likely to understand the similarity between heroin and prescription pain pills
  • Students in the treatment group acknowledged significantly more risk associated with the use of unprescribed pain pills and that it is as risky using heroin
  • Students in treatment group were significantly more knowledgeable about naloxone and its purpose
  • Students in the treatment group demonstrated a slight, non- significant ability to recognize an overdose and understanding of the addictive nature of heroin

Captain Jack Sadler, Enforcement Division, Hendricks County Sheriff’s Department on why they selected the This is (Not) About Drugs program for their community;

“In our response to the opioid epidemic, we see this program as an opportunity to educate the youth of Hendricks County about the risks and outcomes of opioid addiction before they become involved. Our school resource officers have already established relationships with their students. With them presenting the “This is Not About Drugs” program, we will have an even greater impact on students. We believe that this could be a game changer and will undoubtedly make a difference in our community.”

Diana Bernal, MPM, Health and Wellness Project Specialist of Beacon Health System shares how the program fits within their three-year substance use prevention plan;

“After conducting our Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) for St. Joseph, Elkhart, and Marshall counties in Indiana, it was identified that substance abuse was a concern for our community. Substance Abuse is one of our 4 priorities for the next three years and This is (Not) About Drugs program is one of our core tools to help prevent early misuse of opioids among our younger generation.”

Links:
To read the full report, you can visit https://www.overdose-lifeline.org/new-study-on-youth-focused-opioid-education-program-offers-results.html

More information about the This is (Not) About Drugs program: https://www.overdose-lifeline.org/education

About Overdose Lifeline, Inc.:
Overdose Lifeline, https://www.overdose-lifeline.org is an Indiana 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to eliminate the shame and stigma of substance use disorder and carry the message of hope to individuals, families, and communities affected by the chronic disease of addiction. The organization was founded in 2014 as a direct response to the opioid public health crisis. The nonprofits' programs and initiatives focus on advocacy, education, harm reduction, prevention, providing resources, and support.

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Justin Phillips

Kourtnaye Sturgeon
@overdoselifelin
since: 07/2014
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