Prescription Overdose Prevention Through Pre-Professional Education and Discussion (POPPED)

An educational intervention developed in Pennsylvania aimed at providing a better understanding of the opioid crisis targeted to public health and healthcare professionals in training

Prescription Overdose Prevention through Pre-Professional Education & Discussion (POPPED) is an educational curriculum that is designed to increase awareness about the opioid crisis and initiatives at the local, state and federal levels to address it. Some of the topics in the curriculum include:

  • Education on the opioid crisis, with an emphasis on Pennsylvania
  • Prevention of prescription opioid misuse
  • Harm reduction strategies focused around naloxone
  • Knowledge of federal and state laws
  • Interventions framed in the socio-ecological model

Although much of the content describes Philadelphia’s approach to addressing opioids, the curriculum can easily be adapted by health educators to include relevant information to their geographic area. The curriculum can also be adapted so that other important stakeholders (e.g. school educators, law enforcement, criminal justice, first responders) can benefit from this educational intervention. 

The educational curriculum can be found here and a presentation on the intervention can be found here

An educational intervention that increased knowledge of the opioid crisis and has the potential to be adapted to groups outside of health professionals.

Continuum of Care
Harm Reduction
Type of Evidence
Response Approach
Cautious Opioid Prescribing
Overdose prevention
Peer-reviewed Article

Evidence of Program Effectiveness

This educational intervention shows potential in increasing knowledge of the opioid crisis among future health professionals:

"Using a pre-post survey design, a cohort of health professions students was asked to reflect on their levels of knowledge and awareness about opioids before and after viewing the POPPED curriculum. Analysis of group mean scores reflected an increase in knowledge about the opioid epidemic and initiatives associated with combating against it. These findings demonstrate the benefits of health education curricula in serving as instructional tools for populations directly impacted by the opioid epidemic." (Horvath et al., 2019)