New college program aims to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drug abuse
The Harm Reduction Alliance, a collaboration between Alpha Chi Omega, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Nu and Zeta Tau Alpha fraternities, has partnered with Generation Rx and the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery to provide new peer-facilitated workshops for each organization’s collegiate members.
The first workshop in the series focuses on raising awareness about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and the potential it has to derail a student’s college career and beyond. It will be implemented this spring on campuses nationwide where these four fraternal groups have chapters.
New workshops will be introduced over the next several months as a result of this partnership, including a general program about safe medication practices for life and specific educational resources focusing on the dangers of misusing opioid pain medications and prescription stimulants.
Prescription medications are among the most misused substances in the United States. According to data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the misuse of various types of prescription drugs exceeds that for all illicit “street” drugs combined, except marijuana, and the number of people first misusing a prescription drug far exceeds those initiating marijuana use.
“Prescription drugs can help us live longer and healthier lives, but only if they are used properly under medical supervision,” said Kenneth Hale, RPh, PhD, co-director of Generation Rx and clinical professor in the College of Pharmacy at The Ohio State University. “Traditional college students are at the average age when prescription drug misuse starts, and peer-facilitated education about the real dangers of misuse can be a powerful means of prevention.”
About Harm Reduction Alliance
The Harm Reduction Alliance was formed by Alpha Chi Omega, Pi Kappa Phi and Zeta Tau Alpha in February 2012 as an opportunity to combine resources and knowledge to address key issues affecting college students. Sigma Nu joined the partnership in June 2014. Previous work includes a number of educational posters with accompanying discussion guides and hazing prevention and safe spring break social media campaigns.