HVA Students Learn
Prescription SafetyPosted by Josh Flory on 3/7/2019
Students from Hardin Valley Academy spent this year learning about the proper use of prescription drugs, and this week they got a red-carpet reward.
On Wednesday, HVA students attended a free showing of “How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”, at the AMC Classic 16 theater on Peters Road.
The event, which also included free popcorn and a drink, was sponsored by Cardinal Health and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, in conjunction with the Great Schools Partnership.
DEA officials handed out water bottles and tote bags, while students got a chance to pose for pictures on a red carpet in the theater lobby.
While the event was a fun break from classes and homework, it had a serious message. HVA was one of four schools that piloted the new wellness curriculum this year, and it will be expanded to additional schools next year.
Prescription drug abuse has been an increasingly serious problem in East Tennessee and across the country. According to the Tennessee Department of Health, there were 1,776 drug overdose deaths among Tennesseans during 2017, the highest annual number since reporting began. According to the state, prescription opioids are still the most common drugs associated with overdose deaths in Tennessee.
Brianne McCroskey, a wellness teacher at HVA, said the new “Generation Rx” initiative focused on helping students understand how to read prescription labels, and making them aware of the potential legal consequences for those caught with someone else’s prescription.
While the movie was a draw, McCroskey said the hope is that “the information that we’ve taught them will stick with them.”
The pilot program was also launched at South-Doyle High School, and this semester eight other high schools will feature classroom instruction and marketing on the topic. Ramona Dew, coordinated school health specialist with KCS, said the goal is to foster a community effort to reduce teen substance abuse.
Bob Wooldridge, a community outreach contractor for the DEA, said it’s always important to provide education and raise awareness about the importance of prevention, adding that the agency wants students to know that it cares about them.
“Our goals are saving lives and educating kids and parents,” he said.