Educators play an important role in helping to reduce opioid misuse disorder. Available resources include the following, among others:
SAMHSA Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit – Provides information and facts for community members, first responders, prescribers and family members. The toolkit also provides information on recovery.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Teaching Packets – Teaching materials are available on science, the brain and drug abuse and addiction.
Get Smart About Drugs – Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Resource for Parents, Educators & Caregivers. This website features news, trending topics, tips and videos on many topics on drugs and alcohol: https://www.getsmartaboutdrugs.gov/
DEA’s Chasing the Dragon Documentary and Study Guide for Educators – the 45-minute documentary shows the lives of people affected by opioid dependence. A study guide is available to help start discussions.
What else can you do to help? According to the Surgeon General, consider these action steps:
Talk to children about alcohol and drugs. Become informed about substances they may encounter and the risks they face. Talking openly is crucial.
Reach out, if you think you or someone you know has a problem. Talk to family members, friends, or a health care professional. The earlier treatment begins, the better the outcomes are likely to be.
Be supportive (not judgmental) if someone you know has a problem. Recognize that a substance use disorder is a medical condition, not a moral failing. Be supportive and compassionate.
Show support towards people in recovery. Acknowledge and celebrate their achievements. Encourage them to maintain their recovery program and supports.
Advocate for the changes needed in your community. Address substance misuse and substance use disorders with a public health approach. Everyone can play an important role in advocating for their needs, the needs of their loved ones, and the needs of their community.