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Crisis management: 
Handling prescription drug 
incidents in schools 
Phase 1
Why is crisis management important? 
Being prepared to manage a prescription drug incident at your school reduces 
disrupt...
What is a prescription drug incident? 
A prescription drug incident occurs when a student has a prescription drug in 
his ...
Crisis management phases 
Crisis management is a six-phase process: 
Phase 1: Prepare before a prescription drug incident ...
Phase 1: Prepare before a prescription drug incident occurs in 
your school 
In Phase 1, take steps before an incident occ...
Action step 1.1: Establish a crisis response team 
Your crisis response team should include two types of team members: 
• ...
Action step 1.1: Establish a crisis response team 
Below, we provide a table of the crisis response team members and typic...
Action step 1.2: Hold a crisis response team meeting and training 
Hold a crisis response team meeting 
After you select t...
Action step 1.2: Hold a crisis response team meeting and training 
Hold a crisis response team meeting 
• Who will cover t...
Action step 1.2: Hold a crisis response team meeting and training 
Hold a crisis response team training 
Crisis response t...
Action step 1.2: Hold a crisis response team meeting and training 
Immediate action procedures for school security officer...
Action step 1.2: Hold a crisis response team meeting and training 
Immediate action procedures for school security officer...
Action step 1.3: Train all staff to respond to a prescription drug 
incident 
Any staff member could witness a prescriptio...
Action step 1.3: Train all staff to respond to a prescription drug 
incident 
During the training, you should discuss: 
• ...
Action step 1.4: Meet with local entities 
You should also meet with local entities proactively to understand their roles ...
Action step 1.4: Meet with local entities 
Prepare questions before the meeting 
You should prepare questions before meeti...
Action step 1.4: Meet with local entities 
Questions for emergency responders: 
• Under what circumstances does a prescrip...
Action step 1.4: Meet with local entities 
Before you wrap up the meeting, give local entities’ representatives the 
follo...
Action step 1.4: Meet with local entities 
After the meeting, you should create the following documents: 
• Contact inform...
Go to Phase 2 to learn about the action steps you should complete to take 
immediate action when a prescription drug incid...
This project has been funded with federal funds from the National Institute 
on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health,...
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SecuRx crisis management plan phase 1

This phase outlines the steps to take in your school before a prescription drug incident occurs to establish a crisis response team, train staff, and identify partners to support your prescription drug incident response.

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SecuRx crisis management plan phase 1

  1. 1. Crisis management: Handling prescription drug incidents in schools Phase 1
  2. 2. Why is crisis management important? Being prepared to manage a prescription drug incident at your school reduces disruption to normal school activities and minimizes school liability. Many prescription drugs, such as opioid painkillers (Oxycontin/Vicodin), depressants (Valium/Xanax), and stimulants (Ritalin/Adderall) are Schedule II and Schedule III controlled substances. Refer to the Controlled substances information handout. Possession of controlled substances without a prescription or distribution of controlled substances with or without a prescription is a felony. Establishing clear procedures and training school professionals will improve your school’s ability to react quickly to a prescription drug incident.
  3. 3. What is a prescription drug incident? A prescription drug incident occurs when a student has a prescription drug in his or her possession or distributes a prescription drug, while on school property. Prescription drug incidents may vary in severity. Examples include: • The school counselor identifies a student with a legitimate prescription who carries her medication in school but does not have proper authorization to do so under the school’s medication management plan [least severe]. • The school nurse suspects a student who does not have a legitimate prescription on file may be under the influence of a prescription drug. • A teacher discovers a student giving prescription drugs to another student [most severe]. This course provides step-by-step guidance to handle prescription drug incidents in your school.
  4. 4. Crisis management phases Crisis management is a six-phase process: Phase 1: Prepare before a prescription drug incident occurs in your school. Phase 2: Take immediate action when a prescription drug incident occurs. Phase 3: Communicate with school community members after a prescription drug incident. Phase 4: Follow up after a prescription drug incident. Phase 5: Implement disciplinary actions for student(s) involved in a prescription drug incident. Phase 6: Support and monitor student(s) involved in a prescription drug incident. The following presentation describes the action steps you should complete in Phase 1. If you would like to review a different phase, please click on the appropriate link above.
  5. 5. Phase 1: Prepare before a prescription drug incident occurs in your school In Phase 1, take steps before an incident occurs to establish a crisis response team, train staff, and identify partners to support your prescription drug incident response. There are four action steps you should complete: Action step 1.1: Establish a crisis response team. Action step 1.2: Hold a crisis response team meeting and training. Action step 1.3: Train all staff to respond to a prescription drug incident. Action step 1.4: Meet with local entities, including law enforcement and relevant community organizations.
  6. 6. Action step 1.1: Establish a crisis response team Your crisis response team should include two types of team members: • Core members – Including the principal, school security guard or school resource officer,* and school nurse or administrator with medical or drug expertise. • Ad hoc members on day of an incident – Including staff who witness the incident, and staff familiar with the student(s) involved in the incident. Each crisis response team member should have clearly defined responsibilities and proper training to fulfill their duties, as assigned. * If your school does not have a school security guard or a school resource officer, a school counselor may be the best staff member for this role. If you have a school resource officer, he or she will typically be a part of local law enforcement and will have a specific set of procedures to follow from the police department.
  7. 7. Action step 1.1: Establish a crisis response team Below, we provide a table of the crisis response team members and typical duties. You can also download the Crisis response team table handout for future use. [INSERT PICTURE OF THE TABLE]
  8. 8. Action step 1.2: Hold a crisis response team meeting and training Hold a crisis response team meeting After you select the members of your crisis response team, hold a preliminary meeting with the core members. During the meeting, you should discuss and establish the following: • Preferred methods of communication among crisis response team members. – Exchange contact information, including cell phone numbers and email addresses. • Where to meet immediately after an incident. • Where to keep the student(s) involved in the incident immediately after an incident.
  9. 9. Action step 1.2: Hold a crisis response team meeting and training Hold a crisis response team meeting • Who will cover the classes of teacher(s) on the crisis response team during an incident. – For example, students will report to study hall or another teacher’s classroom. • Who will contact local law enforcement. –Typically, the principal or school resource officer.
  10. 10. Action step 1.2: Hold a crisis response team meeting and training Hold a crisis response team training Crisis response team training is an essential component of responding to a prescription drug incident in your school. Plan an uninterrupted block of time for all team members to complete the training. During the training, you should: • Explain each team member’s role. All team members should understand their role and the role of other members. See the Crisis response team table handout for a detailed description of each team member’s role. • Designate who is in charge if the principal is away from the school during an incident. – This is often the vice principal or another backup staff member. Ensure that the principal’s designate has appropriate training. • Train school security guard or school resource officer on immediate action procedures, described in the next slides.
  11. 11. Action step 1.2: Hold a crisis response team meeting and training Immediate action procedures for school security officer or school resource officer • Confiscate prescription drugs. – Give student the opportunity to hand over the prescription drugs in his or her possession. –Keep drugs in hand until you arrive at the designated area. Do not put any confiscated prescription drugs in your pockets or bags. – Follow advice from local law enforcement about the best manner to store prescription drugs until the police arrive. • Escort student(s) involved away from the scene of the incident. – Ask student(s) to come with you to the designated area. – Discreetly escort the student to the designated area. –Request that any other students present during the incident stay with another staff member. – Do not allow student(s) involved in the incident to talk to others, among themselves, or with staff when going to the designated area.
  12. 12. Action step 1.2: Hold a crisis response team meeting and training Immediate action procedures for school security officer or school resource officer • Fill out an incident form. – Record only the concrete details such as the time, location, student’s behavior, type/name of prescription drug, amount of drug, form of drug (e.g. pills, powder, liquid), and other students and staff members involved. –Write only what you observed, not what you heard from other students or staff. – Do not speculate about who may have been involved.
  13. 13. Action step 1.3: Train all staff to respond to a prescription drug incident Any staff member could witness a prescription drug incident. Therefore, all staff should have training to respond to a prescription drug incident. You may wish to hold the training during a staff meeting or on an in-service day, when staff have more time. Staff should also be well informed about prescription drug abuse and diversion, in general. Direct staff to the SecuRx website for further information.
  14. 14. Action step 1.3: Train all staff to respond to a prescription drug incident During the training, you should discuss: • How to reach the school security guard or school resource officer. • How to accurately record the details of a prescription drug incident. • How to educate students about prescription drug abuse. Use the School staff training checklist handout and the School staff training handout to prepare for the training.
  15. 15. Action step 1.4: Meet with local entities You should also meet with local entities proactively to understand their roles in managing and responding to a prescription drug incident. • Local law enforcement. • Emergency responders, such as fire department and ambulance services. • Public health officials, such as substance abuse organization directors.* You can find contact information on police department and community-based organization websites. Set up meetings with each of the entities. Meetings may be separate or involve multiple entities at once. Ideally, the core crisis response team members should participate in the meetings. *These organizations may include addiction treatment centers or community-based drug abuse prevention programs.
  16. 16. Action step 1.4: Meet with local entities Prepare questions before the meeting You should prepare questions before meeting with each entity. Below, we provide some sample questions. Questions for local law enforcement: • What incidents(s) should prompt us to call you? • Who will you send to the school? How quickly? • Who will confiscate the prescription drugs? • What circumstances could lead to a student’s arrest? • When and how will the investigation occur?
  17. 17. Action step 1.4: Meet with local entities Questions for emergency responders: • Under what circumstances does a prescription drug incident require emergency responder dispatch? • What type of transportation will you send to the school (police car, fire truck, ambulance)? • How quickly can we expect emergency responders to arrive? • Where is the best entrance for emergency responders to access the school? Questions for public health officials: • For information about specific prescription drugs, who is the best contact? • What type of local organizations provide prescription drug abuse prevention and treatment services? • What local organizations provide prescription drug abuse counseling? • Under what circumstances would public health officials visit the school?
  18. 18. Action step 1.4: Meet with local entities Before you wrap up the meeting, give local entities’ representatives the following information: • Names and contact information of the crisis response team. • A school map or layout with entrance and exit information. • Information about the school (demographics, culture, programs) to help local entities better understand the students.
  19. 19. Action step 1.4: Meet with local entities After the meeting, you should create the following documents: • Contact information, including phone numbers and contact names for each of the entities. • List of prescription drug incident scenarios that warrant calling law enforcement. • List prescription drug incident circumstances that require emergency responder dispatch. • List of local drug treatment and counseling facilities for referrals. You should plan to meet with or at least contact each entity twice a year to stay up to date on regulation changes, new resources, new personnel, and new trends in the community.
  20. 20. Go to Phase 2 to learn about the action steps you should complete to take immediate action when a prescription drug incident occurs.
  21. 21. This project has been funded with federal funds from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHSN271201200032C.

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This phase outlines the steps to take in your school before a prescription drug incident occurs to establish a crisis response team, train staff, and identify partners to support your prescription drug incident response.

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