FCPS and the Frederick County Health Department announced today that they will be enacting a Coaches vs. Overdoses initiative at all 10 high schools during the current football season.
“It is this focus on preparation and defense that makes us proud to join teams with the Frederick County Health Department,” said Kevin Kendro, FCPS Supervisor of Athletics and Extracurricular Activities. “Together, we can help stop overdoses from destroying lives through prevention and proper drug disposal.”
Coaches will distribute a Prevention Playbook, which helps parents and student-athletes tackle root causes of today’s overdose crisis. At-home drug disposal kits will also be distributed. The effort will take place during October, which is Substance Abuse Prevention Month, and will serve as the local kick-off to National Drug Take Back Day on October 29.
“We are excited to partner with Frederick County Public Schools on this initiative,” said Andrea Walker, Director of the Local Behavior Health Authority at the Frederick County Health Department. “This is an opportunity to spread the word about the right way to dispose of medications to prevent overdoses. This is one more way we’re working to keep our community safe and healthy.”
National studies show that former high school athletes have lifetime opioid use rates of up to 46%, significantly higher than any other student population. According to Frederick County data in the 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, more than one in ten Frederick County middle and high school students reported they have taken prescription pain medicine without a prescription or differently than how a doctor told them to use it.
Coaches vs. Overdoses is an innovative evidence-based solution focused on drug disposal and prevention. Frederick County coaches are helping pioneer this effort, which began with NFL Hall of Famer Randy White turning a tragedy into public good after losing his son-in-law to a single pill.