New Drug Education Program NOPE, the Program You Have Never Heard Of
New drug education program NOPE is probably one you aren’t familiar with…yet. Everyone remembers the very popular D.A.R.E. (drug abuse resistance education) program and their catchphrase “Just Say No.” The problem with D.A.R.E. is, it hasn’t been effective in quite a few years, and their catchphrase is a kitschy joke amongst teens these days. The ever growing epidemic (per the CDC opiate overdoses doubled between 2012 and 2013) of drug abuse in teens has warranted people to take action and start a newer more “in your face” style program and that is how NOPE came to fruition. NOPE (Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education) aims to fight the rising rates of overdoses of prescription drugs in students by educating students on the symptoms of drug overdoses and how to help a friend who may be exhibiting those symptoms.
Rather than the blanket “Don’t do drugs” statement, NOPE shows teens the effects of prescription drugs (like Vicodin or Oxycodone) and asks if this is how they want to end up. Students are not taught to avoid these drugs, but that these drugs are only safe when taken properly and only if prescribed to them by their physician. According to NIDA (National Institute of Drug Abuse) alcohol, marijuana, and over the counter drugs (OTC) are the most commonly abused drugs by teens. The reasons this issue has become so wide spread is that there is no third party needed to acquire these drugs. Most teens can open their medicine cabinet at home and have these various OTC drugs readily available to them. Teens are then getting together with their friends, gathering what has been found in their respective medicine cabinets and having “skittle parties” where all the pills are mixed together in a bowl and doled out in any number of different, harmful, potentially fatal combinations.
NOPE aims to show teens what happens when you mix these over the counter drugs together or mix them with alcohol and what effects they have on the body. One provocative presentation by NOPE happened recently at a Pennsylvanian school. Students listened to audio of an real 911 call made by the mother of 17 year old boy who she found dead from an overdose. They then took turns holding the urn containing his ashes. Slides of hundreds of pictures of teens who had all overdosed on prescription drugs and consequently have died were also shown at the assembly. This new drug education program NOPE also uses interactive computer programs designed and approved by licensed professionals and those who have lost loved ones to different drug & alcohol related issues as a tool to educate them on recognizing symptoms and teaching teens to call 911 when they spot them. It is also teaching students to stop and think before they dabble in any type of harmful activities. These tactics may seem a bit extreme to some, but if NOPE can save even one life through their revolutionary presentations, then they have done their job.