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The Importance of Substance Use Prevention

  • Health education on national, state, and local levels is needed to:

    • raise awareness of the problem

    • educate youth and communities about substance use

    • provide linkages to community resources for mental health

    • train the public on proper use of naloxone

    • reach persons with co-morbidities

    • conduct research on ways to reduce stigma of drug addiction

    • encourage early treatment

  • A coordinated approach involving informed efforts of evidence-based harm reduction strategies is needed to curb the opioid problem and prevent deaths.


National Level Statistics

  • 130 Americans of all ages die every day from an opioid overdose

  • Almost 218,000 Americans died from overdoses related to prescription opioids from 1999-2017

  • More than 191 million opioid prescriptions were dispensed to American patients in 2017

  • There is a wide variation of opioid prescription rates across states. Health care providers in the highest prescribing state, Alabama, wrote almost three times as many of these prescriptions per person as those in the lowest prescribing state, Hawaii


Missouri Statistics

  • 1 out of every 65 deaths in 2017 was due to opioid overdose


  • There were 952 opioid deaths in 2017


  • Opiod death rate = 16.5 per 100,000 persons


  • Higher than the national rate of 14.6 deaths per 100,000


  • Greatest increase in deaths occurred among cases involving synthetic opioids


Kentucky Statistics

  • In 2017, there were 1,160 reported opioid-involved deaths in Kentucky


  • Opioid death rate = 27.9 deaths per 100,000 persons

  • Higher than the national rate of 14.6 deaths per 100,000

Train the Trainer: How to Teach Students About Substance Use Prevention

The linked document (below) includes information on the role of teachers in substance use prevention education and further information on how to teach students using the information provided. 

Train the Trainer Guidelines

How to Use This Site

For an audio version, press play here:

00:00 / 01:02

This website is divided into four tabs: Home, Why Prevention Education, Resources, and Lessons.

  • The Home tab includes basic information about opioids.

  • The "Why prevention education?" tab provides important information on the opioid epidemic, national statistics, as well as statistics for the states of Kentucky and Missouri, a link to the train-the-trainer PowerPoint, and information on how to use this site.

  • The Resources tab is divided into categories, each containing relevant information on opioids, substance use, and the opioid problem. Information for parents and teachers can be found here, along with information on national and state community resources, and data and statistics about opioids.

  • The Lessons tab includes lessons for kindergarten through high school students. There are several lessons for each grade. Most lessons include outlines, presentation slides, and activities/handouts. 

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