Request ScreenU (College) be Used on Your Campus

According to the 2015 College Prescription Drug Survey , 1 in 4 undergraduate students have misused a prescription medication at some point in their lifetime.
The Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery (HECAOD) understands the need for addressing this issue and the resource constraints, in both time and money, that campuses face.
To combat this, HECAOD developed ScreenU, a web-based screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) tool to identify students at-risk of experiencing negative consequences for prescription drug misuse and connect them with resources on their campus that can support their success.
SBIRT is supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHA) and the World Health Organization (WHO). It was designed using evidence-based practices. Students answer questions from a screening tool that identify behaviors that would be considered substance abuse and the level of risk of dependence on the drug. ScreenU takes only 5-10 minutes to complete.

Benefits of ScreenU
ScreenU was designed with the college student in mind and provides feedback and resources that address the unique challenges that they face. It can be used in a variety of settings and contributes to a comprehensive approach to prevention. In addition, ScreenU is:
Based in research- based on the large body of research that supports SBIRT as an early intervention tool
Cost effective- widespread implementation can be done with limited resources since it does not require an appointment or face to face feedback
Personalized- with feedback specific to a person’s risk level and resources specific to the campus and surrounding community
Brief- takes less than 10 minutes, making it easy to complete in many settings
Flexible- Can be used in a variety of settings including student conduct, residence halls, student health services, or counseling centers.
Meets students where they are- Can be completed on a smart phone, tablet, or computer

How can I do that?Contact you local campus representative, student services coordinator or local anti-drug coaltion to see if they will help you put together a proposal to present to your university.

Use Online Continuing Education Courses for Prescribing Opioids

Health professionals can change the way they treat pain and reduce the chance that patients will become addicted to prescription medications. This can prove quite challenging for providers who must attempt to minimize misuse without impeding a patient’s access to medical care. Online training courses can help! Universities, medical associations, and other organizations are making it easier for medical practitioners to expand their knowledge about the opioid crisis, pain management, prescribing methods, and the science of addiction. Some online resources are free while others may have a cost associated. Continuing education credits (CMEs) can be offered through some of these courses.
How can I do that?Contact or do a web search of universities or medical associations to see what resources may be available regarding continuing education courses, or check out some of these organizations to help you get started.
Center for Disease ControlTennessee Medical Association

Receive Naloxone Training

In 2015 Tennessee had the 10th highest overdose mortality rate in the nation. Naloxone can reverse a potentially fatal overdose by allowing the person to breathe normally after the opioid medication has slowed their breathing to a dangerous rate. Having access to Naloxone, and having the proper training to use it, could save a life.

How can I do that?
Visit the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services website to learn more about Naloxone and opioid education.
View the Regional Overdose Prevention Specialist (ROPS) Map to find contact information for your region.
Contact the specialist in your region to schedule an opioid education and naloxone training.
For general information, self-assessment, Good Samaritian law information, and additional resources visit the TN Depatment of Health website listed below.

Host a Candlelight Vigil

A candlelight vigil is an event where people gather, light candles, and show their support. There are many reasons to organize a candlelight vigil for the opioid crisis, including to raise awareness for the crisis, to draw media attention to the opioid crisis, to show support to families or individuals dealing with opioid addiction, to pay tribute to the deceased, or to quietly protest injustices. The main point of a candlelight vigil is to provide a quiet and comfortable setting where groups of people can meet, support each other, and spread a message.
How can I do that?1. Gather like-minded people who can volunteer to help organize the vigil and support the cause. Also, gather individuals who would be willing to speak to the crowd about the crisis, willing to share their story, or share poems or prayer at the vigil.2. Choose a place for the vigil to be held that is easy for people to find, such a centrally located public park or inside a community center.3. Settle on a date and time that will be appropriate for optimal participation and for the candlelight to make an impact, usually right after dusk.4. Spread the word: use posters, social media, news outlets, emailing, press releases, calling, newspaper advertising, and word of mouth to get the max amount of participants, and media if desired, to your vigil.5. Order candles for the event to pass out to participants.


Participate in Monitoring the Future (Middle School and High School)

The Monitoring the Future (MTF) project studies the changing beliefs, attitudes, and behavior of young people in the United States.
This study focuses on youth’s diverse opinions on issues such as government, politics, alcohol, drug use, gender roles and protection of the environment. Students are presented with the same set of questions over a period of years to see how answers change over time. Results of the study are used to monitor trends in substance abuse among adolescents and young adults and are used routinely in the White House Strategy on Drug Abuse.

Four Types of Change1. Particular years reflected across age groups (secular trends or “period effects”).2. Developmental (“age effects”).3. Consistent differences among class cohorts through the life cycle (“cohort effects”)4. Types of environments (high school, college, employment)

Prior to the administration of the survey, students in grades eight, ten and twelve are given flyers explaining the study and their parents are informed about the study through a letter sent home with their student. This provides them a method of declining their child’s participation before the survey is administered.
The survey is conducted by the local Institute for Social Research representatives and their assistants. The questionnaires are administered during a normal class period whenever possible. A follow-up survey is then mailed to participants with a return, self-addressed stamped envelope and a small monetary gift from the University of Michigan.
The Monitoring the Future (MTF) project, also known as the National High School Senior Survey, survey has been conducted with the help of research grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a part of the National Institutes of Health. Surveys have been carried every year since 1975, and today approximately 50,000 students in 420 schools participate.

How can I do that?Contact Monitoring the Future to get information about how your school and/or your classroom can participate.

Host an Addiction Science Fair (Middle School and High School)

When making a science fair project, a topic is thoroughly researched in an effort to learn more about it. Then, a problem is identified and an effort is made to find a solution to that problem, or simply do more research and effectively communicate it. This gives students an opportunity to learn about a topic on their own, and delve deeper into it.
Most science fairs are broken down into categories. If you are unable to host a specific addiction or opioid crisis science fair, adding both of those as categories would ensure some entries.
The science of addiction is diverse, and includes any research that contributes to the understanding of addiction and its health consequences. This includes: understanding who abuses drugs and why, basic biology like genetics, brain structure and function, behavior that can lead to drug abuse or addiction, prevention and treatment, and health services research.

How can I do that?
TeachersAs a teacher, this can be an individual class project, where all students participate.
ParentsAs a parent, you can suggest to administrators or to parent/teacher organizations host a school wide addiction or substance use science fair.

Create a Work Environment Where Employees Can Disclose Opioid-Related Issues

The growing opioid epidemic and its impact on employee behavior and health creates unique challenges for employers. Although no perfect response is available, now is the time for employers to rethink their drug testing and counseling programs in order to keep their employees and workplace safe. A focus on education, prevention, and counseling may help minimize the impact of opioid use in the workplace. Given the recent rise of opioid use, employers should consider encouraging employees to tell you when they have a problem or suspect that another employee may have an issue with prescription painkillers. This starts by creating a workplace environment conducive to the free exchange of information.
How can I do that? 1. Education: The key to preventing opioid addiction is educating employees on the potential harmful impacts of abusing painkillers. Set up training sessions for your employees about recognizing opioid abuse and the dangers of prescription painkillers. Addressing these issues early may help prevent a larger issue later.
2. Reconsider Zero Tolerance Drug Testing Failure Policies : An employee who loses his or her job because they fail a drug test may fall further into the depression often caused by opioid use. Unemployment may lead to more drastic outcomes for the employee, including intentional or accidental overdose. In order to avoid such a tragedy, employers should revisit their zero tolerance drug testing policy. Many employers are modifying their drug testing policy due to OSHA’s recent new rule on this topic. Effective December 1, 2016, OSHA’s new rule requires employers to drug test after a workplace accident only when you have a reasonable basis to believe that the incident or injury was likely to have been caused by the employee’s impairment, and that the drug test will determine whether the employee was impaired at the time of the incident or injury (versus a test that shows mere historical drug use). When modifying their drug testing policy, and in light of the opioid epidemic, employers should think seriously about removing any provision requiring the automatic termination of the employee after the first positive drug test. Instead, employers can amend the policy to include required counseling for employees who fail drug tests. This not only gives the employee a second chance to become “clean” and attempt to end their dependency, it also provides the employee with an opportunity to obtain much needed education and counseling on their condition. The permitted use of prescription drug use while working at the worksite must also be clearly explained in the policy.
3. Consider Enhanced Monitoring of Workers’ Compensation Claims: Many workers’ compensation carriers (and even employers) often seek to minimize the potential impact of workers’ compensation claims by finding the most inexpensive treatment option possible. Indeed, under the guise of “conservative” treatment, insurance carriers may be more inclined to pay for opioid prescriptions to “treat” an on-the-job injury versus considering more aggressive treatment options (i.e., steroid injections, surgical intervention, etc.) in the first instance (even when medical providers recommend more aggressive treatment). As such, there can be a higher incident of dependency – and increased tolerance levels in the event of a future surgery – simply in the name of reducing the financial impact of a workers’ compensation claim. Employers should monitor these trends, and even their medical providers, and evaluate the care provided to injured workers.
4. Revisit and Enhance Drug Counseling Programs: Now is the time for employers to evaluate and enhance their drug counseling programs. Does your insurance provider offer drug counseling to employees? Is there an extra cost for this service? Are employees aware of this amenity? If you become aware of an employee’s potential abuse of opioids, attempt to approach the employee in a cordial, non-confrontational manner to offer assistance with this condition. Pay special attention to employees returning to work after an injury. Consult your counsel on navigating any potential ADA or HIPAA issues. Providing employees robust counseling on opioid use and addiction may prevent further use from occurring.

Participate in National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW) *Dates vary and can be found on the website link listed below.
2020 dates- March 30th- April 5th
This week is spent linking students with scientists and other experts to counteract the myths about drugs and alcohol that teens get from the internet, social media, TV, movies, music, or from friends.
How to get involved in National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week
Form your team
Choose your topics
Register your event Order your free educational materials
Promote your event

Find Volunteer Opportunities with JustServe

JustServe is a nonprofit website that is building unity through community service. The site lists hundreds of ways volunteers can get involved in their community and make a difference today!
How it Works: 1. Find a project by searching location2. Volunteer3. Improve your community!