Local middle-schoolers experience hands-on effects of risky behavior

Local middle-schoolers experience hands-on effects of risky behavior
EMSA’s medical experts join Operation Aware in classrooms to show outcomes of alcohol, drug use
WHAT:          Local middle-schoolers hear and see the medical consequences of drug and alcohol use and other risky behaviors through interactive demonstrations of real-life scenarios and patient case studies.
WHO:             EMSA paramedics team with non-profit organization Operation Aware for in-classroom programs at area middle schools.
Times – 45 min. intervals between the following start / end times
Jenks Middle School
Feb. 14th
8:50 to 10:35 and then again from 11:50 to 2:30
Jenks Middle School
Feb. 15th
8:50 to 10:35 and then again from:  11:40 to 2:30
TULSA, Okla. – Local middle-schoolers will get a hands-on experience of the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse this week when EMSA paramedics team up with prevention education experts from Operation Aware, a Tulsa-based non-profit organization.
Paramedics create a party scenario enlisting student audience members to play out the experience of what can go wrong when young people become involved in risky behaviors, such as drug and alcohol use and driving under the influence. The medical team takes the middle-schoolers through a hands-on case study of actual events from the affects of substances on the body to invasive medical treatments performed to life-long medical outcomes of such risky behavior.
“The students get to see and experience a wide variety of medical protocols and equipment that we use to treat patients in these cases, which is often very frightening,” said Chris Stevens, public information officer for EMSA. “It is a real eye-opener for them. We show them intubation tubes, defibrillators, intravenous needles and even a tool used to cut off clothing.”
Paramedics discuss the effects and dangers of alcohol, prescription pills, marijuana and other illegal narcotics, as well as abuse of widely available items such as energy drinks, aerosol products, paint and other substances.
“We also share personal stories of actual patients that we’ve treated that have involved substance abuse, driving under the influence and other serious medical issues from risky behavior. We tell them first-hand the devastating results this can have for them and their families,” continued Stevens.
The interactive demonstration is part of one of the prevention programs offered by Operation Aware. The organization offers several programs designed to provide drug and violence prevention education to children and teens in the classroom from pre-kindergarten through high school.
 Operation Aware has conducted prevention programs in Tulsa’s schools for the past 30 years.
 EMSA has partnered with the non-profit organization for the last three years. EMSA has also participated for many years with other community prevention and safety efforts, such as car seat safety, CPR training and first aid response.

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