TUHSD, Tempe Fire introduce new curriculum on dangers of opioids, prescriptions

Tempe Union High School District is partnering with the Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Department to educate students about the dangers of opioids and prescription medications.

During the 2017-18 school year, Tempe’s Medical Rescue department responded to 104 emergency medical calls for opioid-related incidents involving people between the ages of 15 to 29. Young people made up about half of the opioid-related incidents between August 2017 and May 2018, according to City of Tempe data.

The 2016 Arizona Criminal Justice Commission Arizona Youth Survey Trends Report showed that more than one in 10 students in 10th grade have taken prescription pain killers not prescribed to them by a doctor. The report also revealed one in seven 12th graders have done the same.

Tempe’s first responders will team up to present Rx360, a curriculum about the dangers of opioids and prescription medications, to students in the Tempe Union High School District. Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Department’s Patient Advocate Services and the Police Department’s School Resource Officer, along with medical staff from Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital, will participate in classroom instruction.

Eventually, the curriculum will be introduced to all of the schools in the district.

Tempe Red Ribbion Week “Cities, towns, first responders, community and faith-based groups are in agreement that we need to ensure everyone, especially young people, are made keenly aware of the dangers of opioid overuse. Educating students is a great start,” said Tempe City Councilmember Joel Navarro, who is also a Phoenix firefighter and represents the city on the East Valley Regional Opioid Action Planning Committee.

The first presentation takes place on October 26, 2018 at McClintock High School, coinciding with Red Ribbon Week. The National Red Ribbon Campaign was created in 1985 in response to the murder of Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Enrique Camarena. Angered parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction caused by drugs in America.

Schools across the district, including Corona del Sol and Tempe High, painted red ribbons on their football fields and hung flyers around campus to honor the week.