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Charmion N. Kinder, Discovery Education
Charmion_Kinder@discovery.com, 240-274-2173 

National Media Affairs, DEA
202-307-7977 


Powerful Virtual Field Trip From the Drug Enforcement Administration and Discovery Education’s Operation Prevention Program Highlights How an Affected Community is Fighting the Opioid Epidemic 

-- Operation Prevention’s “On the Frontlines of the Opioid Epidemic: A Community Fighting Back” LIVE Virtual Field Trip transports students to Huntington, W.Va., to hear personal stories from the city’s bravest teens and change-makers as they combat the opioid crisis in their community --

Silver Spring, Md. (Wednesday, October 25, 2017) – The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Discovery Education have broadened the outreach of their Operation Prevention program – a no-cost, standards-aligned curriculum for parents and teachers to initiate honest conversations about drug-free living with young people – to present On the Frontlines of the Opioid Epidemic: A Community Fighting Back. The second Virtual Field Trip of the Operation Prevention initiative, the immersive experience will broadcast LIVE from Pullman Square in Huntington, W.Va. today, October 25, 2017, from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET and will provide viewers with a first-hand look into local communities hardest hit by the national opioid epidemic. With personal stories from teens and community leaders, students will learn how opioid misuse has affected nearly everyone’s lives in Huntington, how local advocates are using their experiences to improve the city, and ways students can raise awareness about the impacts of opioids to have a positive impact in their own communities.

To complement the Virtual Field Trip and activate life-saving conversations in classrooms nationwide, a companion activity is available to educators. This resource may be used prior to viewing the presentation to start a dialogue with students about the opioid epidemic through a variety of interactive classroom activities. It also offers a list of online resources, articles, and media about the opioid crisis where students can access information on prescription medication abuse and addiction, prevention, treatment, seeking help, and other related topics.

“Drug abuse and addiction occurs in every community in our nation, it affects the very heart of the community and requires a variety of expertise from various fields. That is what today’s Operation Prevention Virtual Field Trip is all about – the desire to promote change and ensure a bright and healthy future for the people of West Virginia,” said U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). “There is not a single family that hasn’t been touched by the opioid epidemic. Working together, we can make a difference, and instill hope and healing across the state.”

Operation Prevention aims to equip both teachers and parents with the tools they need to initiate life-saving conversations with young people about the opioid epidemic. The program’s interactive resources include, standards-aligned digital tools, a nationwide peer-to-peer video challenge that encourages teens to create 30-60 second original public service announcements (PSAs), helping them to start a social movement, and a Science of Addiction e-learning module, designed to educate students about the science behind addiction, and its impacts on the brain and body.

“Operation Prevention was designed to combat the opioid epidemic one person at a time,” said David W. Gourley, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. “On the Frontlines of the Opioid Epidemic: A Community Fighting Back is yet another extension of the program’s push to end the crisis once and for all. We truly believe that its viewers will internalize their virtual experience in Huntington, W.Va., and be inspired to make a positive impact in their own communities.”

The program also offers a parent toolkit that provides information on the warning signs of substance abuse disorder and an in-home prevention and intervention guide. These resources which are completely free of cost, are available in all 50 states and do not require any local sponsorship or corporate underwriting to access them. Together, the DEA and Discovery Education will continue seeking to educate America’s youth and raise awareness about the opioid crisis to disrupt it.

“Discovery Education is proud to continue the efforts of the Operation Prevention initiative through the On the Frontlines of the Opioid Epidemic: A Community Fighting Back Virtual Field Trip,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Discovery Education. “This presentation will be an immersive, moving experience for young people to both witness the impact of the opioid epidemic in this tight-knit community, and demonstrate how students can be positive change agents in their own cities and states.”

Drug-free living forums and conversations will also kick off in 2018 in a number of cities nationwide, including: Charlotte, North Carolina; Santa Rosa, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; and Los Angeles, California. This effort will connect communities to the Operation Prevention work already underway to address this national crisis. Events will encourage individuals and organizations to take a pledge to combat opioid abuse.

To learn more about Operation Prevention, visit operationprevention.com. On the Frontlines of the Opioid Epidemic: A Community Fighting Back Virtual Field Trip will also be livestreamed today at sciencechannel.com.

For more information about Discovery Education’s Streaming Plus services, digital content and professional development services, visit discoveryeducation.com. Stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow us on twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagram and Pinterest.

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About the Drug Enforcement Administration
The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States and bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the United States, or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations and principal members of organizations, involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States; and to recommend and support non-enforcement programs aimed at reducing the availability of illicit controlled substances on the domestic and international markets. The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justthinktwice.govwww.getsmartaboutdrugs.gov and www.dea.gov.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and more than 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.