Community Care of West Virginia, or CCWV, is pushing back against the opioid crisis in the communities it serves as it continues to implement the PAX system in four county school systems: Braxton, Clay, Lewis and Upshur.
“The PAX Good Behavior Game is an evidence-based prevention strategy and a type of psychological intervention that has been implemented in schools since 1969,” said Dr. Kevin Junkins, CCWV child and adolescent psychiatrist. “The study followed 1,000 students from Baltimore city schools since 1985 for 30 years, some having the game in school and others not. The data showed a reduction in mental and behavioral disorders, teen pregnancy, substance abuse and suicide attempts.”
PAX can easily be implemented into classrooms without interruption or change to curriculum, Junkins said.
The integration draws attention and reinforces positive behaviors while holding students accountable and teaching self-regulation, he said.
“Good behavior creates a nourishing environment in the classroom, and a lot of children that we are working with are growing up as victims of the opioid crisis need that” he said. “West Virginia is doing a better job of treating individuals after they start, but what we need to do like we have in every other epidemic is work on prevention. We have a strategy that is proven, and I think it’s important that we start utilizing this in our schools statewide.”
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