New program in Indianapolis targets teens and prescription drug prevention

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill helped launch a new program at Perry Meridian High School Wednesday aimed at teenagers and prescription drug abuse.

The new digital curriculum, called the National High School Prevention Program, is a public-private partnership led by organizations like EverFi and funded through the help of corporate sponsors like Walmart.

“It’s definitely a growing problem due to the interest that people have toward them,” said Sarah Burton, a junior. “They hear the good things. But they don’t hear the bad things.”

Several students who have gone through the program were selected to participate in a series of round-table discussions about the dangers and ways to prevent drug abuse.

“People aren’t talking about the repercussions that come with taking this stuff, and I think that’s something I’ve heard in the class,” Burton said.

The goal is to expand the program to other Indianapolis schools.

“We’ve been fortunate so far,” said Patrick Mapes, superintendent for Perry Township Schools. “We don’t think we have a large problem in our township, but we’re not naïve to know it’s not here.”

Hill, who praised the rollout, spoke to students and teachers about the importance of early intervention, a symbol of the state’s support and concern about the overall drug crisis.

“We can turn these trends around with proper education,” Hill said. “The benefit is less people die and less money being spent for treatment and other programs.”