Video: National Association of School Nurses Launches Educational Program to Address Surge of Prescription Drug Abuse by America's Youth

Friday, April 18, 2008 General News
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The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) announced today "SmartMoves, Smart Choices," a program that responds to the growing rate ofprescription drug abuse among middle and high school students nationwide. NASNhas teamed up with PriCara(R), Division of Ortho-McNeil-JanssenPharmaceuticals, Inc. on the program, which features a news series and Web-based resources targeted to school nurses, teachers and parents. "Smart Moves,Smart Choices" educates teens about the serious risks of abusing prescriptionmedicines, such as those used legitimately to treat pain.

"As the onsite healthcare professionals in schools, school nurses arepreparing themselves with the right tools to help with the prevention ofprescription drug abuse," said Sandra Delack, RN, MEd, NCSN, NASNPresident-Elect. "This program will provide schools and parents with facts ina news-style format to motivate young people to make informed choices thatlead to healthy behaviors."

A national survey of more than 1,300 school nurses revealed that nearly 60percent of school nurses indicated prescription drug abuse is a growing orsignificant problem in their communities.(i) The nurses' observations areconsistent with research showing the explosion of prescription drug abuseamong youth:

"Smart Moves, Smart Choices" includes four videos and lesson plansprepared for the.Medic, a health and wellness feature of MacNeil/LehrerProductions' the.News, a new national news service for middle and high schoolstudents. Videos feature interviews with experts on drug abuse, scientists,health practitioners, parents and recovering teens. The series kicks off with"Myth Busters," a video dispelling the misinformation about prescriptiondrugs, including the beliefs that they are less dangerous than illegal drugsand not addictive. Other topics include a look at the impact of abusingprescription pain medications on the developing brain, the social impact ofaddiction, and analyzing messages about drugs in popular culture. Eachdownloadable video is accompanied by science and language arts curricula tofacilitate classroom activities and discussion. The program includes athe.Medic video and guide for parents, who play an important role inreinforcing their children's education about prescription medications.

"I think this program is a great way for teens to see and hear, firsthand,the consequences of poor choices ... choices that they don't have to make,"said Hayley Norwood, a recovering teen. "Since prescription drugs are given bya doctor, I thought they were okay for me to take, even though they weren'tfor me. What I didn't realize was the serious consequences I faced by takingsomeone else's medications."

NASN will promote the program among its 14,000 members to reach teens andtheir parents around the country. For more information on the program and toview the videos and curricula, visit

PriCara(TM), Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.,provided funding for the program.

About NASN

The National Association of School Nurses is a non-profit specialtynursing organization, organized in 1968 and incorporated in 1977, representingschool nurses exclusively. NASN has over 14,000 members and 51 affiliates,including the District of Columbia and overseas. The mission of the NASN is"to improve the health and educational success of children and youth bydeveloping and providing leadership to advance the school nursing practice."To learn more about NASN, please visit us on the Web at

About MacNeil/Lehrer Productions

MacNeil Lehrer Productions produces The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, whichairs weeknights on more than 300 local PBS stations, as well as other programsfor public, commercial and cable television. MLP is currently developingthe.News, an in-school news broadcast and online site for high scho

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