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How To Incorporate Solid Prescription Drug Prevention<br>Into Project ALERT

Tips from Project ALERT Trainer, Tom Butler, Ed.D.

Project ALERT is focused on developing skills that help youth resist the social pressures to use drugs. The program is built around alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana because these are historically the drugs that young people encounter first. However, in recent years, prescription drugs have become readily available and are, for many adolescents, among the first choice for abuse. Project ALERT teachers have access to information about prescription drugs through links on our website, our Supplemental Resource Manual and classroom videos. Here are some ideas on how to use these materials to enhance Project ALERT activities.

Lesson One
Activity 3: Include a list of why some people abuse prescription and OTC drugs and why most people do not. Differentiate between medical use and abuse.
Activity 4: When comparing the reasons that people use or do not use marijuana and alcohol, ask if they are the same reasons abuse or do not abuse prescription and OTC drugs.

Lesson Two
Activity 4: Repeat the activity for prescription drugs or ask if any of the consequences identified for marijuana are also true for prescription drugs.
Activity 7: When discussing the video Pot: The Party Crasher, ask if the problems that arose in the video could have arisen if the kids were using prescription drugs instead of or in addition to marijuana.
Homework: Using the resource materials associated with Project ALERT, develop a handout titled What Teens Want to Know About Prescription Drugs that is similar to the one for alcohol and pass it out to the students.

Lesson Three
Activity 4: Point out that teens sometimes use prescription drugs to cover their feelings with disastrous results.
Activity 5: Point out that the alternatives to drinking are also alternatives to abusing prescription drugs.
Activity 6: Include a few items about prescription drugs in the Alcohol Facts Game. You may have to change the name of the game.
Homework: Remind students that alternatives to drinking are also alternatives to abusing prescription drugs.

Lesson Four
Activity 1: Remind students that the alternatives to drinking are also alternatives to abusing prescription drugs.
Activity 2: Point out that the pressure to use alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana may be similar to the pressures to use prescription drugs.
Activity 3: Add cells to the graph of Drug Use Estimates for abuse of prescription drugs.
Activity 4: Point out that many of the strategies that advertisers use to promote alcohol and tobacco are also used to promote prescription drugs.
Activity 6: Include an advertisement for prescription drugs in the activity.
Homework: Ask students to include at least one ad for a prescription drug.

Lesson Five
Activities 4 and 6: Point out that some of the strategies developed in the groups would work with any drug.

Lesson Six
Activity 2: Include pressure to use prescription drugs in the practice.
Activity 3: Point out that you may experience pressure from inside yourself to use prescription drugs.
Activity 4: Modify one of the scenarios to include prescription drugs.
Homework: Modify one of the scenarios to include prescription drugs.

Lesson Seven
Activities 4 and 5: Point out that some of the strategies developed in the groups would work with any drug.

Lesson Nine
Activity 3: Allow students to use pressure situations that include prescription drug abuse.
Activity 4: Point out that some of the strategies developed in the groups would work with any drug.
Activity 5: Have students compile a list of benefits of not abusing prescription drugs.

Lesson Eleven
Activity 2: Add questions about prescription and OTC drugs.

 

Check out the Supplemental Resource Manual which provides clinically accurate, accessible, up-to-date information about over-the-counter cough and cold medications, prescription painkillers, sedatives, steroids, and stimulants. The manual is intended as a resource for answers to students' questions and to inform yourself better about these substances.

 

Also, check out the videos on Prescription Drugs, Steroids, and Ecstasy & Meth.

 

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