Lessons shared by the heroin prevention Family Advisory Group, each of whom has suffered the gravity of loss that follows heroin addiction. It is their hope to give the gift of hindsight to other families.

I wish I had known that loving, caring families are not immune from heroin addiction.
I wish I had known that just because my child was getting good grades didn’t mean he/she was not using heroin.
I wish I had known that the pain medication prescribed for my son after the removal of his wisdom teeth would be a gateway drug to his heroin addiction.
I wish I had known that reputable professionals can be unaware or even negligent in pain med prescriptions.
I wish I had known that a traditional college dorm is one of the worst environments for someone prone to addiction.
I wish I had known to get help immediately; if the addict doesn’t want help, then you should get help.
I wish I had known that siblings and peers collude to not tell.
I wish I had known that my son’s self-centered, destructive, abusive behavior was the voice of heroin addiction.
I wish I had known that addiction is genetically based – it runs in families.
I wish I had known that drug use can be a form of self-medication for depression, anxiety or elevated mood.
I wish I had known to trust my gut instinct.
I wish I had known to push for rehab instead of listening to him say that he’ll go when he’s ready.
I wish I had known that heroin addiction happens to normal families.

Heroin Prevention Program Research and Evaluation

The Robert Crown Center Heroin Prevention Program focuses on primary prevention, providing middle school and high school students, their parents and school staff with the scientific and social/emotional learning content to understand the risk of drug use, specifically targeting prescription pain medication and heroin.

Original Research

The Robert Crown Center for Health Education (RCC), in partnership with the Reed Hruby Foundation, commissioned original research conducted by the Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy which provides the basis for RCC’s heroin prevention education.

What the research found:
More than one third of the research sample began using heroin while they were in high school; those who used in high school were from all socioeconomic groups.show more

What the research participants had to say:
“I was not a big risk taker as a kid. They can’t picture me using heroin. My mom was putting ribbons in my hair in fifth grade and curling my hair.”show more

Research Report: Understanding Suburban Heroin Use
Research Executive Summary: Understanding Suburban Heroin Use

Formative Evaluation
The evaluation was designed to determine the integrity of implementation of the program and to assess outcomes for students, parents and educators. During the 2012-2013 school year Robert Crown Center’s new heroin prevention program was piloted and evaluated in 11 high schools and middle schools in Cook, DuPage, Will and Lake Counties reaching over 7,000 students, 1,400 school staff members, and 400 parents.

Evaluation Report
Evaluation Executive Summary

Summative Evaluation
During the 2013-2014 school year, a sampling of 13 teachers participated in the study and delivered the program to approximately 850 students (8th graders and 10th graders). The evaluation examined student responses pre- and post-program implementation and teacher fidelity of implementation.

Evaluation Report
Evaluation Executive Summary

Continued Evaluation
In spring 2015, a sample of middle and high school students’ pre and post-program surveys and teacher implementation in new schools in which the program was implemented were studied.

Middle School Brief
High School Brief
Evaluation Executive Summary