Centene Corp., a company offering services to government-sponsored and commercial healthcare programs, recently announced the winners of the OpiEnd Youth Challenge.
Awards were presented at a virtual ceremony Tuesday.
The challenge was to create a targeted curriculum for adolescents ages nine through 14 that raises awareness about opioid misuse and prevention. Students and teachers discussed the attributes of addiction and opioid misuse, and then students developed campaign messaging that depicts ways to prevent misuse.
“Prevention and early education about the dangers of opioid misuse, especially with adolescents, are crucial components to address the opioid crisis – particularly at this unparalleled time,” said Mary Mason, Centene senior vice president and chief medical officer of Corporate Health Initiatives.
Centene received more than 180 submissions from 19 states. The national winners were from California, Hawaii, and Arizona.
Nationwide, at least 2 million persons in the United States have an opioid-use disorder, and more than 10 million misuse opioids. The COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for those struggling with addiction and recovery, Centene Executive Vice President and Cheif Medical Officer Ken Yamaguchi said.
The challenge is part of Centene’s OpiEnd program and its community outreach efforts. The program uses early intervention to prevent opioid misuse and save lives.