Pharmacy students shine a light on opioid awareness with an interactive presentation

A group of pharmacy students put together an interactive presentation for the Wilkes community to help raise awareness about opioids and the importance of taking action before someone becomes addicted. 

Opioid use has reached the level of epidemic according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, “In, 2016 there were 2,235 opioid related deaths.” Wilkes University Pharmacy students who put together this presentation aim to combat these statistics through education and awareness.

“We want to focus on prevention methods and educate the younger age because the demographic keeps shifting,” said Jamey Mikovich. 

The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that 25% of young people aged 12 to 25 who began abusing prescription medications at age 13 met the clinical criteria for addition at some point in their life. 

Raising awareness on how to safely take medications and what is actually in the medications a person is taking is an important aspect to raising opioid awareness. “Not just how to deal with addiction and how to heal from that but how to avoid that happening altogether and how to be safer with medications,” said Anna Ermlich.

By having the pharmacists of tomorrow shine a light on these issues shows that the younger generation is looking ahead towards the future and being proactive in their efforts to deal with the crisis so that moving forward the statistics of opioid related deaths will hopefully decrease. 

This action will also allow communities as a whole become more aware of warning signs as well as becoming more educated on what is in the medication they or a family or friend are taking. 

The interactive portion of the presentation was a Kahoot that asked a variety of opioid related questions to the audience. They tested their knowledge before the presentation to see what everyone knew prior to their presentation and then at the end to see how well they were paying attention and if they may have learned something new.

“I was impressed with the results at the end being that the attendees were very engaged and interested in the material,” said Matt Kaster. 

The presentation gave many students the opportunity to test their knowledge of opioids and addiction as well as educate them on some topics that they might not have been aware of prior to attending. 

If anyone would like more information regarding Action Before Addiction please contact Matt Kaster at [email protected].