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Rx For Understanding

Welcome to Rx for Understanding!

Thank you for your interest in educating youth about the crucial health issue of prescription drug abuse. The Office of National Drug Control Policy calls prescription drug abuse “the Nation’s fastest growing drug problem.” The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified prescription drug abuse as an epidemic. The problem of prescription drug misuse and abuse is particularly alarming among young people.

  • 1 in 4 teens reports having misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime.
  • One-third of teens believe it is okay to use prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them to deal with an injury, illness or physical pain.
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  • 43 percent of teens indicate prescription drugs are easier to get than illegal drugs.
  • 1 in 5 teens who reports having misused or abused a prescription drug has done so before the age of 14.
  • 65 percent of teens who report abuse of prescription drugs are getting them from friends, family and acquaintances.

Source: 2012 Partnership Attitude and Tracking Study, sponsored by MetLife Foundation

NEA HIN offers two resources to help educate young people about the misuse, abuse, and proper use of prescription drugs.

Rx for Understanding: Be Smart About Prescription Drugs  is a standards-based, cross-curricular teaching resource geared for students in grades 5-8. This resource contains five sequenced lessons for grades 5-6 and five sequenced lessons for grades 7-8. Each set of lessons acts as a mini-unit, focusing on the same five lesson themes:

  1. Relating the issue of prescription drug safety to overall health
  2. Understanding proper use
  3. Understanding misuse
  4. Understanding abuse
  5. Conducting an application-based culminating project

The Educator’s Resource Guide for grades 5-8 includes background information, lesson plans, reproducible student activity sheets, parent information, and national academic standards alignment charts (including National Health Education Standards and Common Core State Standards).

Rx for Understanding: Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse  is a standards-based, cross-curricular teaching resource geared for students in grades 9-12. It contains 10 lessons that lead students through an inquiry-based, technology inspired project enabling an opportunity to apply the key concepts learned about the misuse, abuse, and proper use of prescription drugs.

The Educator’s Resource Guide for grades 9-12 includes background information, lesson plans, a reproducible student journal, teaching resources, parent information, and national academic standards alignment charts (including National Health Education Standards and Common Core State Standards).

Getting Started With Rx for Understanding:

  1. Explore the issue.
  2. Get to know the Educator’s Resource Guide for your area.
  3. Prepare the lessons.
  4. Take action and spread the word.

You can also order free printed copies of Rx for Understanding by visiting the NEA HIN Online Store.