WAKE UP!, the innovative interactive social media, community action and live presentation program designed to raise awareness of the dangers of abusing prescription drugs and to prevent first time use by teenagers, successfully launched at San Diego High School on September 24th.
The day started with thousands of students at the school getting literal “wake up” calls at home with facts about addiction. Next, students handed out t-shirts, plastered lockers with magnets, painted car windows, and stuck signs all over school lawns and walls – all before the first school bell rang. At interactive assemblies held throughout the day, students learned about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and abuse and met Aaron Rubin, a student left paralyzed by his abuse of prescription drugs, and his mother Sherrie.
That’s just the beginning. “We have a presence in the school for about a month – we actually take over the school, which is what you saw this morning,” said Dr. Lora Brown, co-founder of WAKE UP!. “It’s hard for any student on this campus to miss the message that we have.”
San Diego High School was the first of three local high schools participating in the WAKE UP! program, with campaigns also taking place at University City High and Francis Parker School through October. From there, WAKE UP! will take the campaign to multiple Florida schools and eventually to middle and high schools across the nation.
In June Millennium Laboratories issued a $250,000 grant to seed fund WAKE UP!, which was created by The Pain Truth, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
One in five U.S. teens will experiment with prescription medication this year – a statistic that continues to grow. Millennium encourages parents, teens, educators, potential funders and anyone interested in helping stop teens from taking that first drug, to learn more about the program by visiting the WAKE UP! website and Facebook page.
“As a parent and grandparent, as well as a San Diego community member, I am personally aware of and deeply concerned about the dangers of prescription medication misuse and abuse. Addiction is devastating and destroys families. This program engages teens in a way that doesn’t seek to simply scare or lecture, but educates them so they can make better choices.”
CEO, Millennium Laboratories
“The statistics show that about 2,500 students, teens between the ages of 12 and 17, use pain relievers for the first time every single day in this country. And the frightening thing is, once these kids become addicted, there’s no cure for addiction. So the only solution in my mind, now, is through prevention, and prevention of first-time use. That’s why we’re here.”
Lora Brown, MD,
Medical Director, WAKE UP!
“Our goal in funding and participating in WAKE UP! is to help create dynamic, community-based programs that educate tens of thousands of teenagers, parents and teachers nationwide about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and abuse. We hope that other corporations and government agencies will join us to support the growth of this critically important program.”
President, Millennium Laboratories
“Misuse and abuse of prescription drugs knows no boundaries and requires a comprehensive response that engages all elements and influencers of a teenager’s life. We applaud WAKE UP! for taking this issue head on in both public and private schools across our nation and are proud to be involved in this innovative program at its inception.”
Upper School Principal
Francis Parker School, San Diego.
“The WAKE UP! campaign is a needed and necessary program for teenagers nationwide. We immediately got on board when approached to be one of the initial school systems. We’re thrilled to be national leaders of WAKE UP! by bringing this important message into our students’ curriculum.”
Joe Fulcher, PhD
Chief Student Services Officer
San Diego Unified School District