Teaching injury and drug abuse prevention and health
An American culture of sports mania, combined with the growing number of young people in our country competing in organized sports, has resulted in increased psychological pressure and physical harm among teen athletes. Although football and wrestling are tied for the greatest number of injuries, all competitive sports provide a playing field for potential injury.
Prompted by parents of student athletes, The Robert Crown Center (RCC) for Health Education in Hinsdale, Illinois, set out to address the issue. Parents in the region had expressed concern over sports-related dangers, including concussions and steroids. Among their concerns was the rise in abuse of prescription pain pills. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription drug abuse has been classified as epidemic. In a four-point plan issued by the President of the United States for controlling the abuse of prescription pain pills, the number one step was education.
“There’s a misconception among young people that, because pain meds are FDA approved and prescribed by a doctor, they’re safe,” said Barb Barrett, Registered Nurse and Health Educator at RCC.
To combat the lack of education associated with the dangers of prescription medications, RCC developed the 3-Point Advantage program. Partially funded by a grant from the American Medical Association, 3-Point shows students the science behind addiction. In the program’s early implementation, students expressed relief that they were being equipped with the tools to protect themselves.
Following one presentation of 3-Point, a wrestler approached Barrett and told her that he had overused pain pills because he thought he was following the instructions provided by his physician. “He had no idea that prescription medication could be addictive,” said Barrett. “He took the pain killers every four hours, despite the fact that his pain did not necessitate it. After a few days, he said he was afraid that he recognized symptoms of addiction.”
Keegan Kilrea, Assistant Coach for Girls Track and Field at Lyons Township High School in La Grange, Illinois, attended the program. She said, “Students appreciated being shown the brain chemistry behind addiction. Following delivery of the program, they better understood the purpose and the dangers of pain medications, and the potential link between use and addiction.”
John Grundke, Athletic Director at Lyons Township High School, observed Barrett teaching the course to girls track and field competitors. He applauded the “quality presentation,” saying that the participating athletes and coaches had expressed satisfaction that the program made them feel better informed. “They got some new information and asked some good questions about the details of the presented material,” said Grundke.
Barrett said “There’s a lot of pressure on teen athletes, now more than ever before. They’re immersed in a culture of significant expectation— both internally and externally. They have a ‘play through pain’ mentality because they have to get that win, or get that scholarship. The 3-Point Advantage Program teaches them to compete in a healthy way and to protect themselves from harm.”
The Robert Crown Center for Health Education will provide an online preview of the 3-Point Program, during the first two weeks of August: August 5 from 4-5 pm, August 7 from 7-8 pm, August 11 from 7-8 pm, and August 13 from 4-5 pm. The online preview is 40 minutes long and is worth one Continuing Professional Development Unit. To learn more about the program, or to register, visit robertcrown.org and click 3-Point Advantage.
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The Robert Crown Center (RCC) is pleased to announce that R.J. McMahon has been named the organization’s Chief Executive Officer
Mr. McMahon will lead the organization in its efforts to develop educational programs
R. J. McMahon is a seasoned leader with twenty years of experience providing leadership and advocacy for educational nonprofit organizations, producing and marketing educational programs, and developing resources. Mr. McMahon comes to RCC from Fenwick High School, where he established highly successful constituent initiatives, restructured development operations and formalized key organizational structures.
For more information about Mr. McMahon, click here to view the full news release.