ROCK ISLAND, Illinois-- In 2018, 2,000 students in Illinois and Iowa participated in a Prescription Drug Safety Network program learning how to recognize the signs of prescription drug abuse.
Students were tested before and after the survey. After taking the course students in the Quad Cities region improved their score by 48%. Over 90% of students felt they would be able to refuse prescription drugs altogether and 77% felt it was their responsibility to prevent drug abuse in their schools.
"It's the education and the knowledge about how dangerous some of these drugs can be for students and for loved ones that they know as well," the director of community engagement at UnityPoint Health, Daniel Joiner said.
In the Quad Cities alone, students believe the course gave them the confidence to say no especially in peer pressure situations.
As the opioid epidemic continues, leaders with UnityPoint want to approach the problem head-on.
"I think expansion is key. This program is fully funded by the Trinity Health foundation so there is no financial burden on the schools or the individual so it's really about pushing the word that this program is available in our community," Joiner said.
Right now, seven schools in the Quad Cities have participated reaching over 250 students.