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Drug testing company finances school-based prevention effort

June 6, 2012
by Gary Enos
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 A leading drug testing company is financing a pilot initiative in which two school districts will immerse young people in messages about the dangers of prescription drug misuse.

San Diego-based Millennium Laboratories announced this week that it is awarding a $250,000 grant to the WAKE UP! campaign, a social change education and community action initiative to combat prescription drug abuse among teens. Pilot efforts will be launched at the start of the next school year in San Diego County and in Manatee County, Fla.

The cornerstone efforts of WAKE UP! involve preventing first-time prescription drug use; creating a community outreach presentation that physicians can implement; working with the media to increase public awareness; and measuring effectiveness through data collection.

“We expect that outcomes from the pilot will demonstrate the value of the WAKE UP! approach and hope other corporations and government agencies will join us to support the growth of a national program,” Millennium Laboratories president Howard Appel said in a statement.

WAKE UP! promotes a school and community “takeover” approach that engages youths, parents, school personnel, community leaders and law enforcement officials. Teaching tools include multimedia productions, town hall meetings, social media, and use of celebrities.

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