Silver Springs, MD - October 25, 2016 - To combat America’s rapidly growing opioid and heroin epidemic, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, today announced a new joint nationwide education initiative called “Operation Prevention.” This announcement was made as part of a live town hall event that was broadcasted from Virginia’s McLean High School and streamed into classrooms nationwide.
Designed for middle and high school students, educators and parents nationwide, Operation Prevention is an important effort to educate students about the science behind drug addiction and its impact, with resources that help initiate lifesaving conversations in the home and classroom. The no-cost initiative offers standards-aligned classroom resources including digital lesson plans, and a parent toolkit that offers information on the warning signs of substance misuse disorder and a guide to prevention and intervention. In December, a student video challenge will also launch.
Every day in America, 44 people die as a result of prescription opioid overdose, and heroin use has more than doubled among young adults ages 18-25 in the past decade (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). The epidemic cuts across lines of age, race, gender and wealth, afflicting cities as well as suburbs, rural towns as well as tribal communities. Now, Operation Prevention will arm students with the tools they need to make smart, informed choices when they are prescribed or presented with the opportunity to experiment with opioids. Materials include:
Educator Lesson Plans – Standards-aligned digital lesson plans bring powerful real-world context to science and health classrooms by equipping teachers with dynamic curricula on the science behind opioids’ physical and neurological effects. Companion instructor guides are also available to support educators as they integrate these lessons into classroom instruction.
Interactive Student Resources – A self-paced e-learning module combines video, animation and interactive elements to offer students an engaging learning experience that encourages them to investigate the impacts of opioids on the brain and body. Accompanying this module are pre-and-post-assessments as well as companion guides for educators and parents to utilize to best support students’ experience.
Parent Toolkit – Designed to empower parents with knowledge and resources to begin lifesaving conversations, detect warning signs and take action, the Operation Prevention Parent Toolkit includes family discussion starters, a detailed guide of warning signs and what they mean, and prevention and intervention tools that allows parents to proactively take action through research-based strategies.
“Operation Prevention is a free science-based education tool for students, teachers, and parents,” said DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg. “In partnership with Discovery Education, we will illuminate the opioid epidemic by teaching kids the science behind it."
“Discovery Education is proud to partner with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration on this important and potentially life-saving initiative,” said Bill Goodwyn, president and CEO, Discovery Education. “Operation Prevention will provide teachers, students, and families the engaging digital resources they need to combat the national opioid addiction epidemic.”
Today’s launch announcement was broadcasted from Fairfax County Public School’s McLean High School in Virginia. It connected students with a panel of experts including Louis J. Milione, DEA Assistant Administrator, Office of Diversion Control; Melvin Patterson, DEA special agent; Peggy Compton, Associate Dean at Georgetown University’s School of Nursing and Health Studies; Jamie Lane, Assistant Principal, McLean High School; and a former teen user, who discussed how prescription opioids and heroin affect the brain and behavior, and answered questions submitted in real time by participating students nationwide. An archive of the event is available for year-round use online.
“Substance abuse touches everyone and too often it is unrecognized as families are left to deal with the consequences on their own,” said McLean High School Principal Ellen Reilly. “By bringing this issue to the McLean school community during today’s town hall and to school communities worldwide, this is a unique opportunity to acknowledge and understand a very real crisis. Operation Prevention will increase awareness of this crisis which is key to developing solutions for those struggling with this issue.”
More information on Operation Prevention and access to the program’s free resources are available at http://operationprevention.com. For other Discovery Education initiatives, visit www.discoveryeducation.com.
About the Drug Enforcement Administration
The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States and bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the United States, or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations and principal members of organizations, involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States; and to recommend and support non-enforcement programs aimed at reducing the availability of illicit controlled substances on the domestic and international markets.
About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 3 million educators and over 30 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.