The problem of prescription drug abuse and overdose is complex, involving insufficient oversight to curb inappropriate prescribing, insurance and pharmacy benefit policies, and a belief by many people that prescription drugs are not dangerous. However, more deaths, illnesses, and disabilities can be attributed to the abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs than to any other preventable health condition. About one-fourth of the approximately 2 million deaths each year are due to alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drug use. About 2.4 million emergency department visits per year are due to drug use and misuse. the estimated economic costs of substance abuse in the United States is $621 billion per year. These estimates include direct costs (such as health care expenditures, premature death, and impaired productivity), and indirect costs, which include the costs of crime and law enforcement, courts, jails, and social work. The abuse of alcohol and other drugs is one of America’s most expensive community and public health problems.
The prevention and control of alcohol and other drug abuse require knowledge of the causes of drug-taking behavior, sources of illicit drugs, drug laws, and treatment programs. Also required are community organizing skills, persistence, and cooperation among a vast array of concerned individuals and official and unofficial agencies.
You are the Business Manager of a Behavioral Health Department of a not-for-profit health care system. The institution Population Health Management Program includes an action item that designates you as being responsible for it: to develop and implement an innovative drug abuse education program for children at the local elementary schools. The Chief Population Health Officer (CPHO) specifically pointed out that he would like for you to really get creative and think out of the box. He envisions that your innovative program will not only serve as primary drug abuse prevention, but also provide positive publicity for the healthcare organization. He specifically indicated that imagination is very important. In his previous experience, the CPHO assumed various administrative roles within the organization, including years of marketing background under his belt; and he truly believes that word-of-mouth branding is one of the most powerful weapons in a marketer’s arsenal. After all, what can be better marketing for an organization than serving the community and addressing the community concerns? The CPHO actually hopes that your drug abuse prevention project for children will be so unique and noteworthy that it perhaps will get picked up by local news sources, resulting in great publicity. Prepare a summary of a proposal for an innovative drug education program for children at the local elementary schools