Lancaster – Ohio University Lancaster Student Sarah Secoy spent two days last week learning how to combat the prescription drug abuse problem on college campuses. Secoy attended the Generation RX University Conference for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Recovery.
The conference was held at Ohio State University's Blackwell Inn and Conference Center. Many colleges from around the nation attended the conference to learn strategies to combat the 3rd leading cause of accidental death in the United States.
Secoy is a program assistant with the Fairfield County Young Adult Prevention Initiative, a program of the Fairfield County Family, Adult and Children First Council. That community coalition has recently implemented a grant-funded project on the Lancaster Campus to educate students about prescription drug misuse. The grant helped purchase television monitors which are hanging up around Brasee Hall. The monitors display messages about prescription drug misuse, as well as campus announcements and information.
"This issue directly impacts student success inside and outside the classroom," Ohio State Vice President for Student Life Javaune Adams-Gaston told those in attendance at the conference. "It's a tough issue.It's an important issue and it's an emerging issue in higher education."
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the average age of first non-medical use of a prescription drug is 21-22 years old, and the rate of prescription drug abuse is higher among those 18-25 years of age than in any other group.
Kelly Monce, Coordinator of the Fairfield County Young Adult Prevention Initiative, presented at the conference. She talked about the television messages at OUL and what they hope to accomplish.
"Our data showed that the students at OUL wanted to hear statistics and facts. So, we provide them with the facts on the television monitors on campus," said Monce. "We're hopeful that this great partnership between the community and the university will provide great results."