Rutledge Announces Prescription for Life Milestones
September 18, 2018
Says, ‘we are seeing Prescription for Life making a real difference in students’ perception of opioid use’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced a successful first year of providing Prescription for Life to Arkansas students. Launched last September, Prescription for Life is a first-in-the-nation educational tool offered at no cost to all high school students in the State to help them understand the dangers of prescription drug misuse and how to prevent abuse.
“I am pleased with the success of Prescription for Life’s inaugural year,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansas has the highest prescription drug use by teenagers in the nation, and after this first year of the program, we are already seeing Prescription for Life making a real difference in students’ perception of opioid use. I look forward to watching this program expand across our state to educate teens about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and misuse.”
Prescription for Life has already reached over 8,000 students in 76 schools across 55 counties. Using an evidence-based public health approach, the digital course empowers high school students with the skills and knowledge they need to make safe and healthy decisions about prescription drugs. During the past year, students who experienced Prescription for Life showed a nearly 50 percent knowledge gain overall and displayed the highest knowledge growth in recognizing signs of potential abuse and misuse, and taking concrete action to help.
Rutledge is also collaborating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to coordinate a statewide viewing of the film “Chasing the Dragon” for students on Oct. 24 during Red Ribbon Week. “Chasing the Dragon” is a documentary produced by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration, which exposes the truth behind the opioid epidemic which is devastating communities in the State of Arkansas and across the United States. Rutledge encourages schools to register for the screenings, which features the true life stories and experiences of people who have dealt with the opioid epidemic.
Prescription for Life features a digital platform to help high school students in the State understand the dangers of prescription drug misuse and how to prevent abuse. The self-paced modular course uses video, animations, simulations and interactivity to deliver a personalized, self-guided learning experience. The real-life simulations demonstrate the impact misuse can have on students’ physical and mental health, relationships and future goals while the scenario-based exercises help students practice how to support other students in their choices regarding the safe use of prescription drugs. The course is aligned with the Centers for Disease Control’s National Health Education Standards and State academic standards.
Earlier this week, Rutledge announced she is partnering with Association of Arkansas Counties and the Arkansas Municipal League, Stericycle, Nationwide Insurance, Walmart and EverFi, to bring the National Safety Council’s opioid memorial to Fayetteville from Oct. 3 through 9.
In August, Rutledge announced a new initiative, called #Rx4LifeStories, to allow Arkansans to talk about how the nation’s opioid epidemic has impacted their lives and the lives of their families.
Rutledge is also suing the opioid manufacturers who created the crisis in Arkansas for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Arkansas Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act.
Each year, Rutledge partners with a number of agencies in hosting the Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit. The summit is a free training and educational opportunity for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. The seventh annual Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit is scheduled for Nov. 1 in Hot Springs, with more than 800 taking advantage of early bird registration.
Rutledge also partners with federal and state agencies for the biannual National Take Back Day. Since 2016, more than 600 pounds of prescription drugs were collected at Attorney General Mobile Offices across Arkansas.