Drug Enforcement Administration and Discovery Education Announce New Resources Addressing Counterfeit Drug Crisis

Discovery Education and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are now offering educators new digital resources to address the dangers of counterfeit drugs. The new array of science-based lesson plan and videos equip students in grades 9–12 with an understanding of what counterfeit drugs are and why they are so harmful to individuals and communities.  

The resources join other powerful anti-drug resources available through Operation Prevention, a collaboration between DEA and Discovery Education. Designed to help prevent substance misuse in schools nationwide, Operation Prevention educates students about the science behind addiction, and its impact on the brain and body. The latest content also supports the One Pill Can Kill initiative from DEA, which raises awareness about fake pills that are falsely marketed as legitimate prescription pills. 

Research by UCLA Health shows that in 2020, the teen death rate due to drug overdose doubled and grew by another 20% in 2021. The sharp increase is, in part, attributed to teens purchasing via distributors on social media platforms what they believe to be prescription drugs but instead are counterfeit drugs laced with fentanyl. DEA reports that in 2022 more than 9.5 million fake pills were seized, more than the previous two years combined.  

The new lessons now available, which include a detailed accompanying educator guide, explore the importance of community connections in counteracting the rising trend of counterfeit drug use. During the lesson, students will consider how an individual’s decisions can impact an entire community, investigate real-world data, and learn how to create an effective community awareness campaign. In addition, the resources, which include a four-part video series, show students the consequences of counterfeit drugs on people and communities through insights from diverse subject matter experts, including leaders from Native communities. These resources complement Operation Prevention’s “Good Medicine Bundle,” which was created with the assistance of the National Indian Education Association. A set of hands-on, standards-aligned resources for elementary and middle school students, the Good Medicine Bundle addresses the nation’s opioid crisis through a culturally responsive lens and encourages resiliency through a Native approach to balance and wellness.     

“Native communities still experience the impact of historical traumas and are disproportionately impacted by substance misuse. These lessons are critical for all students as a response to the crises in our nation,” said Diana Cournoyer, Executive Director of the National Indian Education Association (NIEA)

“Education and intervention at a young age are critical to preventing substance misuse and misunderstandings,” said Amy Nakamoto, General Manager of Social Impact at Discovery Education. “Educators play a critical role in students’ lives, and we are proud to partner with the DEA to equip high school teachers across the United States with new, high-quality resources to help overcome the counterfeit drug crisis facing our teens.” 

Learn more about the new counterfeit drug educational resources and Operation Prevention and on the Discovery Education K-12 Learning Platform.  

For more information about Discovery Education’s award-winning digital resources and professional learning services, visit Discovery Education, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter and LinkedIn.

About: The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States and bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the United States, or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations and principal members of organizations, involved in the growing, manufacture or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States; and to recommend and support non-enforcement programs aimed at reducing the availability of illicit controlled substances on the domestic and international markets. The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at justthinktwicegetsmartaboutdrugs and dea.gov. 

The National Indian Education Association (NIEA) advances comprehensive, culture-based educational opportunities for American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. NIEA was formed in 1970 by Native educators who were eager to find solutions to improve the education system for Native children. NIEA adheres to the organization’s founding principles: 1) to bring Native educators together to explore ways to improve schools and the schooling of native children; 2) to promote the maintenance and continued development of Native languages and cultures; and 3) to develop and implement strategies for influencing local, state, and federal policy and policy makers. NIEA is the leading advocate on issues impacting Native education. NIEA provides membership with information on scholarships, opportunities, events, policy, and federal and state news stories

Discovery Education is the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place. Through its award-winning multimedia content, instructional supports, and innovative classroom tools, Discovery Education helps educators deliver equitable learning experiences engaging all students and supporting higher academic achievement on a global scale. Discovery Education serves approximately 4.5 million educators and 45 million students worldwide, and its resources are accessed in over 100 countries and territories. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and trusted organizations to empower teachers with leading edtech solutions that support the success of all learners. Explore the future of education at Discovery Education

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