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A Clear & Present Danger is a two-part educational program for middle and high school students developed by Prevention Specialists from the Council on Chemical Abuse in response to requests from Berks County schools. It engages students in conversations about pain medication safety and the links between prescription opioids and heroin addiction. Sessions are 60 minutes each; maximum of 35 students per class.
In 2015, 40% of Berks County secondary school students reported favorable attitudes toward drug use, a risk factor for substance abuse.
The program provides students with accurate information about prescription drugs and teaches them about the connection between prescription opioid pain medications and heroin.
A Clear & Present Danger includes engaging, hands-on activities focused on the following topics:
Safe medication practices
The link between prescription drugs and heroin
Techniques for turning down the invitation to use drugs (refusal skills)
Engaging in positive alternatives
In Part One, instructors focus on discussions about the definition, misuse and safe use of prescription medications, as well as techniques for turning down the pressure to use drugs and engaging in positive alternative activities.
In Part Two, students are actively involved in the journey of two fictional characters that represent true stories. Each character misused prescription drugs with different outcomes. Students learn about the progression of misusing prescription opioid drugs to heroin use and addiction. They discuss the reality of death from the disease of addiction, along with the effectiveness of treatment, and the hope that can be found in recovery. The content of this program is tailored to the age of the student audience.