Operation UNITE is a nonprofit organization serving 32 counties in Kentucky by providing narcotics investigations, substance abuse treatment and referrals, youth programs, family support, and community education initiatives. Its recent prescription drug abuse prevention efforts in schools offer a replicable strategy for other organizations seeking to reach teens about this critical public health issue.
During NIDA’s 2013 National Drug Facts Week, Operation UNITE held events in collaboration with school anti-drug clubs to educate students about the dangers of prescription drug abuse. Organizers used PEERx resources, including the interactive “Choose Your Path” videos, which allowed students to assume the role of the main character and make decisions about whether to abuse prescription drugs, such as Adderall or Xanax. Students selected which path to take and watched the consequences of that decision play out on screen.
Students also developed skits, and one group even wrote their own rap, using only information from the PEERx Web site. They acted out their skits and selected the best one to present to the entire school. Through these efforts, Operation UNITE reached 750 students and teachers.