The Opioid Epidemic- Resources for Parents

Parents may find the following resources especially helpful in learning more about the epidemic, how to talk talk about it with their children, and what they can do to prevent opioid abuse.

Steps We Can Take to Prevent Opioid Abuse (Letter to the Editor)
Gilbert J. Botvin, developer of LifeSkills Training, 2016.

New York Times article addressing the opioid epidemic regarding the need for effective prevention programs that can dramatically decrease drug abuse, delinquency, aggression and violence. Some of the specific programs mentioned include LifeSkills Training (LST), Strengthening Families Program (SFP) & Communities That Care (CTC). The letter suggests an increased emphasis on prevention in combating the growing epidemic of prescription opioid abuse.

This article is a good reminder for parents/community members that treatment is not the only avenue and answer to the opioid epidemic across communities. Prevention programs are key to targeting the issue before it begins. Many programs provide years of research on proving positive outcomes on the specific issues involved in what has become an opioid epidemic. By reading this article, parents/community members can take lead on potentially bringing new prevention programming to their communities.


PARENT TALK KIT: Tips for Talking and What to Say to Prevent Drug and Alcohol Abuse
The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids website, 2014.

Document regarding drug and alcohol prevention with youth (preschool to young adults; 3-25 year olds). The document presents real life situations about drugs and children and illustrates how they should be addressed. Examples include: 1.Your child is just starting middle school and you know that eventually, he will be offered drugs and alcohol; 2.Your child has expressed curiosity about the pills she sees you take every day — and the other bottles in the medicine cabinet.

This is a useful guide for talking with your children at any age about the issue of substance abuse. It provides helpful tips organized by age range for starting this important conversation!


Preventing Teen Prescription Medicine Abuse
The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids website, 2014.

Fact Sheet designed to educate on prescription medicine abuse. Topics include: what it is, why and how many teens are doing this, risks, and what should parents do.

This resource can help parents or caregivers understand Medicine abuse, teen statistics, risks, and what parents can do.


Parents - Learn how to prevent prescription drug abuse in your home
The Seminole Prevention Coalition website

Website geared towards preventing teen prescription drug access. Information on how to properly dispose of prescription abuse as well as discussing with teens the dangers related to prescription drug use. This would be of interest providers, and parents in understanding best practice of preventing drug abuse in the home, securing what is there and properly disposing of prescription when needed.

This website can be useful to parents in understanding best practice of preventing drug abuse in the home, security of medication, and properly disposing of prescription medications.
The Commonwealth Prevention Alliance Campaign To Stop Opiate Abuse website

Campaign funded through a grant from the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). A workgroup of partners has developed free materials about opiate addiction for D&A professionals to download and distribute, as well as information and resources for anyone looking for HELP. PA Stop is designed to educate Pennsylvanians about the risks of prescription painkiller and heroin use, the relationship between painkiller and heroin use, and what to do when you need help.

Parents can use this website to get information about risks of prescription painkillers and heroin use, the relationship between both, and what to do if you need help.


LifeSkills Training Shields Teens from Prescription Opioid Misuse
Eric Sarlin, M.Ed., M.A., NIDA Notes Contributing Writer, 2015.

Discusses the effectiveness of LST for substance abuse prevention; including opioids.  Evaluates the impact of LST and two other school-based interventions- All Stars (AS) and Project Alert (PA)- on teens’ prescription opioid misuse. It specifically mentions PROSPER, LifeSkills Training(LST), Strengthening Families Program(SFP), Project Alert (PA), and All Stars (AS).

Parents can access this web based article to obtain information regarding the effectiveness and impact of LifeSkills Training (LST), All Stars (AS), and Project Alert (PA), on teens' prescription opioid misuse for substance abuse prevention; including opioids.  Parents may have children who are participating in these school-based programs.


National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Drug Abuse website

Up-to-date information on commonly abused substances. It Includes multiple resources for prevention and education for a broad range of audiences. Policy makers, providers and parents can Benefit from this website due to its broad range of resources and frequently updated information.

Parents/Caregivers can access this site to receive the most up-to-date information on commonly used drugs: descriptions, street names, drug effects, trends, etc.


The Social Development Strategy
Hawkins and Catalano, from The Center for Communities That Care website, Social Development Research Group, School of Social Work, University of Washington

Web based resource that outlines CTC’s Social Development Strategy that promotes positive youth development. This strategy organizes the knowledge on what protects young people from developing health and behavior problems into an easy-to-use strategy. This resource focuses on the CTC protective factor strategy that promotes social bonding, clear standards, individual characteristics, opportunities, skills, and recognition.

Good resource for parents who are looking for an easy way to understand the model of behavioral development for their youth.  Outlines the pathways to both positive and problematic behaviors.


University of Pittsburgh, Program Evaluation and Research Unit website

OverdoseFreePA is a collaboration between six partner organizations and sixteen Pennsylvania communities involved with overdose prevention and recovery activities. These communities are collaborating to develop resources that can be used by all Pennsylvanians to learn more about overdose and the way substance use disorders (SUD) affect people, families, and communities. By working together to create a central overdose resource, the treatment and prevention efforts in these communities will be increased. The overall goal of this project is to increase community awareness and knowledge of overdose and overdose prevention strategies as well as to support initiatives aimed at decreasing drug overdoses and deaths within the participating counties.

Parents can utilize this website to educate themselves on substance abuse and addiction, current news, local resources, and the current opioid epidemic issue.


Pennsylvania Drug Take-Back Locations
Pennsylvania Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs website

This site allows you to search for prescription drug take-back locations in your county. Use either your zip code, or your county to help you find your local prescription drop-offs.

People throughout Pennsylvania communities can utilize this site to access a search engine and locate local drug take-back locations to drop off prescription drugs that are no longer needed.


Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA) website

A confidential and anonymous source of information for persons seeking treatment facilities in the United States or U.S. Territories for substance abuse/addiction and/or mental health problems.

People who are seeking treatment facilities for themselves or others can utilize this site to access behavioral health treatment facilities.


SAMSHA Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA)

Facts for Community Members, Five Essential Steps for First Responders, Information for Prescribers, and Safety Advice for Patients & Family Members Recovering From Opioid Overdose.

People across communities can access this site to receive facts on Overdose Prevention as well as safety advice for patients and family members recovering from Opioid overdose.


PA Department of Health-Opioid Abuse
Pennsylvania Department of Health website

The site includes information on: the drug Naloxone that can reverse an overdose, how to obtain Naloxone, basic training on how to administer the drug, and a lot of other additional links to related resources.

People throughout communities across the state can access this site for information on: the drug Naloxone that can reverse an overdose, how to obtain Naloxone, basic training on how to administer the drug, and a lot of other additional links to related resources.