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Local students get anti-drug Wake Up! call

By Maureen Magee | 2:16 p.m. Sept. 24, 2012

Talk about a wake-up call.

Thousands of high school students in and around San Diego received a phone call early Monday morning with news about the escalating problem of prescription-drug abuse among teens nationwide.

Studies show that one in six American teens used a prescription drug for recreational purposes last year. More than a third of prescription-drug abusers are between ages 12 and 17. Research also shows that the majority of teens and parents believe recreational prescription-drug use is safe, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Monday's message did not stop with a phone call.

Students arriving at Francis Parker, San Diego and University high schools were greeted by photos, posters and other images that featured an anti-drug message. A school assembly campaign by the group Wake Up! included speeches from a doctor and Aaron Rubin, a former Poway High School student who has been debilitated by a prescription drug habit. Some students offered their own testimonials about prescription-drug abuse to organizers.

Sponsored by The Pain Truth, a Florida-based nonprofit organization, Wake Up! is one of several efforts aimed at curbing prescription-drug abuse. Funded by San Diego-based Millennium Laboratories Inc., the program will continue in classrooms, via social media and on Organizers also have developed the Wake Up! mobile app. 

As part of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s annual National Prescription Take Back Day, medicine can be disposed of on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at sheriff’s stations throughout San Diego County.

Above: Sherrie Rubin talks to her son, Aaron Rubin, who was left paralyzed after he overdosed on OxyContin in 2005. They presented at the WAKE UP! assembly at San Diego High School on Monday, September 24, 2012.


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