Peer-to-peer prevention is a strategy that works. That was the message communicated by two Ohio 4-H teens who were invited to participate in a Listening Session on Opioid Prevention at the U.S. Department of Education last month.
Madelyn Smith from Franklin County, and Callia Barwick from Mahoning County were part of a small group that met with Frank Brogan, Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education and staff members from the Office of Communication and Outreach Youth Engagement Team. Madelyn and Callia shared the Ohio 4-H Medicine Cabinet display, a project designed to raise awareness about opioids and medication safety. In place of the prescription label, bottles in the medicine cabinet feature facts about opioids. Callia also shared her project collecting stuffed animals for police officers to use in drug-related situations involving children. She exceeded her original goal of 100 by collecting 1,500 stuffed animals.
Madelyn and Callia are both members of Ohio 4-H Health Heroes, an heath advocacy program under the direction of Theresa Ferrari, OSU Extension Youth Development Specialist, and Carol Smathers, FCS Field Specialist for Youth Nutrition and Wellness. A grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the National 4-H Council funded the medicine cabinet display.
If you know Ohio youth who might be interested in becoming a Health Hero, send them information on how to get involved.