A school-based youth prevention program developed in Rhode Island to increase knowledge of opioids and decrease opioid use and misuse
More than 1 in 8 students in Rhode Island reported having used a prescription medication non-medically. In response to this, the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy developed Rx for Addiction and Medication Safety (RAMS-PEER), which is an educational intervention for high school students to increase knowledge about opioids, ultimately leading to decreased opioid use and misuse.
Initially, a pilot project (called RAMS) consisted of a four-week, three-hour curriculum delivered by trained pharmacy students and college faculty which targeted 9th grade students in eight public schools in Rhode Island. The curriculum is divided into four components:
- Medication safety, such as safe use and storage and disposal education
- Signs and symptoms and risk factors for opioid misuse and withdrawal
- Opioid overdose identification and response
- Treatment and recovery resources
The RAMS program initiated a booster online educational intervention for students in 10th grade. Collectively, this model is called RAMS-PEER and is a publicly available educational curriculum. This model would be considered a universal prevention program for opioid misuse in adolescents.
More detailed information about RAMS-PEER can be found in the presentation here. A comprehensive presentation on nonmedical use of prescription opioids by youth, which discusses RAMS-PEER, can be found here. The program has been highlighted by the CDC.