The Cardinal Health Foundation will sponsor a free prescription drug abuse prevention training from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22 at Oglebay Resort in Wheeling. The free workshop is for pharmacists, pharmacy students, physicians, coalition leaders, prevention experts, youth workers and anyone else interested in learning about the prevention of prescription drug abuse and misuse.
West Virginia has the highest number of drug overdose deaths in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and most of those deaths are from prescription drugs.
Andy Duran, executive director of LEAD (Linking Efforts Against Drugs) in Chicago, is one of the presenters at the upcoming training. In an email interview, he said the presentation is research-based and unique in that it does not rely on scare tactics to get its message across. The plan is rooted in GenerationRx materials developed by The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy and Cardinal Health, he said.
"Our prevention approach focuses on the upside of positive choices, not the downside of negative choices," Duran said. "These positive choices go beyond just alcohol, tobacco and other drug issues, but they encourage healthy choices in all areas. This is a solutions-based training, meaning we will be sharing real and relevant information but our focus will be on solutions - finding, using and sharing evidenced-based practices that work."
The title of the workshop is "Think in 3D." The three "Ds" stand for define, design and deliver. Participants will learn to:
- Define prescription drug misuse and abuse, learn about the root causes and practice elements of effective prevention.
- Design a plan that can be implemented in their community, learn practical solutions, and be an agent for change.
- Deliver this program by learning how to gain necessary tools, resources and funding.
Ty Sells of Youth to Youth International, based in Columbus, also will be a presenter. Duran noted young people served as advisers in the develoment of "Think in 3D," especially in the areas of social media and the ineffectiveness of scare tactics.
"While this training is not specifically geared toward youth, we do hope to reach educators, youth workers and youth advocates so that they can take the experience and create campaigns with and for the youth they serve," Duran said.
Members of the Ohio County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition's underage prevention group plan to attend in the hope of discovering new ways to reach youth.
"We feel that training coalition members in effective strategies will strengthen our efforts and lead to more partnerships, both of which will ultimately help Ohio County youth and meet our coalition goals," said the Ohio County coalition's project coordinator, Martha Polinsky.
The training is one of several sponsored by Cardinal Health across the country. A training took place in Chicago in November and another one is scheduled there this spring. A Tampa, Fla., training will take place in March, and another will be done in the western U.S. at a time and location to be determined, Duran said.
"These places were chosen in collaboration with Cardinal Health and were intended to take place in locations where prescription drug abuse and misuse is of particular concern and where Cardinal Health employees live and work," he noted. Cardinal Health has offices and a distribution center in Ohio County.
Duran expects 50-60 participants.
To register for the free training, go to www.leadingefforts.org/3D.