Monday, February 9, 2015
There are multiple problems are that plaguing today's youth. One of them is prescription drugs; specifically prescription opioids. This abuse of this particular drug can lead to heroin use as it can become a cheaper alternative for some. In past years schools have relied on the "DARE" or "Just say no" program. That program is now mocked my many and is becoming ineffective at capturing the attention of teens to successfully deter them away from drugs.
Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education, also known as "Nope" is one of the newest drug education programs in the country. This particular program places emphasis on prescription opioids.
Seventy-one percent of deaths from opioid users are students, and the audience that is beginning to use them is growing younger and younger as the drug spreads even deeper into suburban schools and neighborhoods.
"Nope" takes a more direct approach, rather than telling teens why they should stay away from drugs, they show them. In a packed gymnasium a recording of the 911 call that a Mother made after finding her son dead from a drug overdose is played. An urn filled with his ashes sits in the front of the room, accompanies by pictures of other teens that lost their lives because of an addiction. "Just say no" isn't working for today's youth. A more direct approach is key.
Addictions can begin in a variety of ways, medicine from a doctor for a medical problem, wisdom teeth removal, surgery, or even just being given one by a friend. Addictions can begin in so many different ways, and studies are still going on about how addiction in adolescence differs from that of an adult. Drug education and prevention programs are all facing similar challenges: lack of funding, and lack of time as schools place more and more emphasis on testing and scores. We all have a duty to help support the youth of our nation. We all have a duty to ensure the success of our youth so that they can properly care for this Nation. What today's youth does, will affect us, and surely will affect our children.
"Nope" is all about capturing the attention of an audience and creating them: forcing them to observe. An emotional appeal is what captivates today's youth. In some of these presentations the manipulation of language occurs. Is this right? Does the end justify the means? If making a youth's death more emotional and adding "drama" to it is okay because it may prevent others from experiencing that same fate is okay, then where is the line drawn? At some point, the good of the public needs to have less focus places upon it and more focused on telling the truth. Although adding emphasis and drama may help capture attention now, if it is learned that what was being told was not the whole truth, than the entire organization and it's messages will be discredited.