Wake Up! Program Spreads Prescription Drug Awareness at UC
UC High was one of the first three schools in America to host the prescription drug awareness program Wake Up!
The new program launched its national tour in San Diego with UC High selected as one of the first schools to host Wake Up, according to Medical Director Lora Brown. The Florida-based program’s main focus is to inform students that abusing prescription drugs can be just as harmful as any illegal drug.
Unlike most drug prevention and awareness programs, Wake Up! doesn’t just stay for one or two days, but for four weeks. According to Brown, this prolonged program allows more community involvement. Wake Up! doesn’t only focus the students, but also teachers, parents, and alumni. “We focus on a more personal relationship with the community,” said Brown.
Wake Up! chose San Diego as their launching city, but Principal Jeff Olivero was one the main reasons UC High was chosen to host. According to Operations Director Shannon Sayre, Olivero made huge efforts to host the program at UC High. “Principal Olivero was passionate and wanted to work with us,” said Sayre.
Another important part of the program is the student lead CORE group. Eight students were selected by Olivero to be in charge of student relations and outreach, according to Brown. The CORE group members also reached out to other students who wanted to be a part of the leadership team.
The CORE group’s main focus is to continue spreading Wake Up!’s message even after the program’s administration has left. Senior CORE Group Member Darian Hoskins said, “Most teenagers believe prescription drugs are safe simply because a doctor prescribed them. Wake Up! teaches teens not to take the effects of prescription drugs for granted.”
One of the ways Wake Up! and the CORE group were spreading the message was through posters, t-shirts, wristbands, and bumper stickers. Junior Darieon Bell said, “The program is good because a lot of people use drugs at UC High and they need to wake up and see that there’s better things to do than get high.”