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Video: National Association of School Nurses Launches Educational Program to Address Surge of Prescription Drug Abuse by America's Youth

SILVER SPRING, Md., April 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) announced today "Smart Moves, Smart Choices," a program that responds to the growing rate of prescription drug abuse among middle and high school students nationwide. NASN has teamed up with PriCara(R), Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. on the program, which features a news series and Web-based resources targeted to school nurses, teachers and parents. "Smart Moves, Smart Choices" educates teens about the serious risks of abusing prescription medicines, such as those used legitimately to treat pain.

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to:

"As the onsite healthcare professionals in schools, school nurses are preparing themselves with the right tools to help with the prevention of prescription drug abuse," said Sandra Delack, RN, MEd, NCSN, NASN President-Elect. "This program will provide schools and parents with facts in a news-style format to motivate young people to make informed choices that lead to healthy behaviors."

A national survey of more than 1,300 school nurses revealed that nearly 60 percent of school nurses indicated prescription drug abuse is a growing or significant problem in their communities.(i) The nurses' observations are consistent with research showing the explosion of prescription drug abuse among youth:

-- Nearly one-quarter of 12th graders report that they have abused

prescription drugs by the time they graduate from high school(ii)

-- Every day, 2,500 youth age 12 to 17 abuse a prescription pain reliever

for the first time(iii)

"Smart Moves, Smart Choices" includes four videos and lesson plans prepared for the.Medic, a health and wellness feature of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions' the.News, a new national news service for middle and high school students. Videos feature interviews with experts on drug abuse, scientists, health practitioners, parents and recovering teens. The series kicks off with "Myth Busters," a video dispelling the misinformation about prescription drugs, including the beliefs that they are less dangerous than illegal drugs and not addictive. Other topics include a look at the impact of abusing prescription pain medications on the developing brain, the social impact of addiction, and analyzing messages about drugs in popular culture. Each downloadable video is accompanied by science and language arts curricula to facilitate classroom activities and discussion. The program includes a the.Medic video and guide for parents, who play an important role in reinforcing their children's education about prescription medications.

"I think this program is a great way for teens to see and hear, firsthand, the consequences of poor choices ... choices that they don't have to make," said Hayley Norwood, a recovering teen. "Since prescription drugs are given by a doctor, I thought they were okay for me to take, even though they weren't for me. What I didn't realize was the serious consequences I faced by taking someone else's medications."

NASN will promote the program among its 14,000 members to reach teens and their parents around the country. For more information on the program and to view the videos and curricula, visit

PriCara(TM), Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., provided funding for the program.

About NASN

The National Association of School Nurses is a non-profit specialty nursing organization, organized in 1968 and incorporated in 1977, representing school nurses exclusively. NASN has over 14,000 members and 51 affiliates, including the District of Columbia and overseas. The mission of the NASN is "to improve the health and educational success of children and youth by developing and providing leadership to advance the school nursing practice." To learn more about NASN, please visit us on the Web at

About MacNeil/Lehrer Productions

MacNeil Lehrer Productions produces The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, which airs weeknights on more than 300 local PBS stations, as well as other programs for public, commercial and cable television. MLP is currently developing the.News, an in-school news broadcast and online site for high school and middle school students. MLP will also produce complete broadcast coverage of the 2008 Democratic and Republican national conventions for PBS. Other recent television programs produced by MLP include By the People: Considering a 21st Century Declaration of Citizenship; Free Speech an extended conversation between Jim Lehrer and Ben Bradlee about Bradlee's career and current issues facing journalism, the award-winning Do You Speak American?, Robert MacNeil's cross country trek to discover why American's speak the way we do; The First Lady: Public Expectations, Private Lives, a look at the expectations of the role of the modern first lady; Debating Our Destiny, Jim Lehrer's look at presidential and vice presidential debates with candidates; LadyBird, a profile of LadyBird Johnson.

About PriCara(R), Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

PriCara(R), Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is a major health care company in the United States dedicated to the needs of primary care providers who serve a vital role on the frontline of medicine. For more information about the company, please visit

i. National Association of School Nurses Survey, 2006.

ii. Johnston, L. D., O'Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J.

E. (2007). Monitoring the Future national results on adolescent drug

use: Overview of key findings, 2006. (NIH Publication No. 07-6202).

Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse.

iii. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of

Applied Studies. (October 18, 2007). The OAS Report: A Day in the

Life of American Adolescents: Substance Use Facts. Rockville, MD.


Jaime Murphy

National Association of School Nurses

(240) 247-1618

Michelle Derden

Ruder Finn, Inc.

(212) 715-1516

SOURCE NASN (National Association of School Nurses)
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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