Operation Substance Use Disorders

Operation Substance Use Disoders

Operation Substance Use Disorders focuses on educating teens and college students on the dangers of prescription drug misuse and abuse. Through hour-long presentations coupled with either interactive case study activities or thoughtfully guided discussions, students learn about the prevalence of prescription medication abuse and its very serious consequences. Although Operation Substance Use Disorders is the newest addition to the Community Outreach team, it plays an essential role in combating the epidemic of prescription medication abuse in the United States!

Both the high school and collegiate presentations focus specifically on opioid and stimulant abuse. Prescription drug abuse is now the leading cause of death in the US, with opioids causing more than 3 out of 4 prescription drug overdoses. In 2008, opioids caused more overdose deaths than cocaine and heroin combined. Additionally, for every opioid-related death, 130 people are opioid-dependent, and there are 825 non-medical users.

Every day, 2,500 youth abuse a prescription painkiller for the first time. However, students in high schools and universities across the country are also abusing another class of medications at an alarming rate. Stimulant use as a “study drug” is only growing on a daily basis. What most students don’t know, however, is that studies have proven that stimulant use does not improve grades. In fact, on average the typical stimulant abuser has lower grades than students who don’t abuse stimulants.

The goal of Operation Substance Use Disorders is to make students, educators, and the community at large more aware of the facts, prevalence, and very serious consequences that result from prescription drug abuse. Prescription drugs are dangerous, can be addictive, and their abuse is illegal!

In an effort to spread the message to the UW-Madison undergraduate campus, Operation Substance Use Disorders has recently teamed up with University Health Services (UHS) located at 333 East Campus Mall. UHS hosts a website with facts and videos about prescription abuse and provides services for those undergoing a prescription misuse or abuse related problem.

Operation Substance Use Disorders also works very closely with MedDrop, as 70% of abused medications are obtained from homes of friends or family. The goal of MedDrop corresponds with Operation Substance Use Disorders’ initiatives and through their education about safe medication disposal and take-back events held along with local police departments, our communities have only become that much safer!

For more information about this exciting and impactful initiative, please contact Luke Kelsey (lkelsey@wisc.edu) or Jessica Haase (jhaase5@wisc.edu).