(Family Features) Prescription opioid misuse and heroin use have reached epidemic levels in the United States. Now, students have the opportunity to compete for prizes as they engage in a national challenge to communicate messages to their peers about the dangers these drugs pose.
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the DEA Educational Foundation and Discovery Education, a leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, have come together to offer the second annual Operation Prevention Video Challenge.
The challengeis an extension of Operation Prevention, a nationwide program that educates students about the science behind addiction and its impact on the brain and body. The program’s interactive, standards-aligned resources are available at no cost to help promote lifesaving discussions in the classroom and at home.
“Following the success of the first Operation Prevention Video Challenge, DEA looks forward to once again engaging youth in this creative opportunity to communicate anti-opioid messages,” said Sean Fearns, chief of community outreach, DEA. “This kind of peer-to-peer education has the unique ability to better resonate with teens, discouraging prescription drug abuse before it starts.”
The video challenge encourages teens to create a 30-60 second original public service announcement that warns other students about the dangers of prescription opioid misuse and heroin use. The challenge aims to inspire teens to research the opioid epidemic, identify its widespread impact on the country and the substances’ harmful effects on the body, and start a social movement that encourages authentic dialogue about this critical issue.
The top 10 finalist videos will be uploaded to the Operation Prevention website for a public vote to determine the People’s Choice winner, and the winning PSAs will be featured on DEA’s and Discovery Education’s digital and social media platforms. Winning submissions also will be eligible for cash prizes.
"We have seen firsthand the positive impact this program has had in our communities across the country," said Kevin Hartmann, president, DEA Educational Foundation. "This contest gives students a chance to be a part of the solution in this nationwide epidemic. Their PSAs can help save lives."
The Operation Prevention Video Challengewill close at 8 p.m. March 20, 2018. United States high school students, ages 13 and older, can register and find more information about the challenge at operationprevention.com.