DEA launches expansion of student drug use prevention program

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The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Discovery Education have announced it is expanding Operation Prevention, a program to curb drug use by students through education.

Through new modules that build on existing student curricula geared toward elementary and middle school students, the program will not only educate others on the dangers of abuse but will also teach young people about the effects of drugs and pharmaceuticals.

Through a webinar on Oct. 14, Operation Prevention will review existing and new curriculums with educators. Resources for the new multi-drug curriculum include a video topic series and activities for grades 3 through 8 and tips for implementing them within the existing Operation Prevention resources.

“The first line in prevention is always education,” said Acting Administrator Timothy J. Shea. “By reaching out to youths, presenting them with information to expand their base of knowledge about drugs and drug abuse, we can stem the future tide of misuse, abuse, overdose, and death. If we reach just one child and prevent even one death through this program, we will consider it a success.”

DEA and Discovery Education launched Operation Prevention in 2016 as a three-year program to educate middle and high school students on the dangers of opioid prescription drug abuse. Funded by the DEA, the program was expanded to add in elementary school students and Spanish-speaking students. A further expansion added a module for use in workplaces to let businesses access the program. Future expansions include modules for Native American/Alaskan Natives.

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