Discovery Education, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the National Indian Education Association (NIEA), have launched “Good Medicine Bundles,” a set of hands-on, standards-aligned resources for elementary and middle school students to address the nation’s opioid crisis and encourage resiliency through a Native approach to balance and wellness.
Launched this spring, the no-cost digital program is designed to help students understand how their connection to community and nature can restore balance and support better decision-making. These bundles combine traditional storytelling, the medicine wheel, and other Native practices of wellness with the insights of modern science to help students form a better response to trauma and stressors.
“This expansion of Operation Prevention will allow an underserved community to receive important, potentially life-saving information,” said DEA Acting Administrator D. Christopher Evans. “In collaboration with Discovery Education and the National Indian Education Association, the “Good Medicine Bundles” component aims to prevent substance misuse and abuse by reaching this vulnerable population at an early age, educating them about the consequences of bad decisions that lead to substance misuse, and offering alternatives that are in line with their cultural practices. DEA will continue to utilize outreach and prevention strategies as part of our broader mission to protect the public from the dangers of substance misuse and the violence associated with the demand for drugs in this country.”
The “Good Medicine Bundles” are an extension of the Operation Prevention educational initiative created by DEA and Discovery Education. Operation Prevention is a nationwide program that educates students about the science behind addiction, and its impact on the brain and body. Operation Prevention interactive resources help promote lifesaving discussions in the home and classroom. With the assistance of NIEA, these drug prevention tools have been tailored for culturally appropriate use.
“Native communities still experience the impact of historical traumas. To find healing and balance, we must teach our young people the ways of the medicine wheel and the cultural practices of wellness that help us feel balanced in a traumatic world. These lessons are critical for all students as a response to the crises in our nation,” said Diana Cournoyer, Executive Director of the National Indian Education Association.
The online curriculum includes classroom activities, an educator’s guide, and shareable PowerPoint presentations for elementary and middle school students. The program is available at operationprevention.com and on Discovery Education’s flexible K-12 learning platform in the Operation Prevention channel.
“Research has shown the best way to prevent substance misuse is through intervention at a young age,” said Lori McFarling, Discovery Education’s president of corporate and community partnerships. “Experts also understand the important role educators play in preparing students to deal with difficult situations. This partnership by our three organizations – each with a unique perspective on our country’s opioid crisis – holds great promise for directing resources where they have tremendous potential to be effective.”
Share these all new resources with your students and communities to encourage healthy choices that last a lifetime.