NOBLESVILLE, Ind. – As the opioid crisis continues, state leaders are stepping up efforts to inform teens about the dangers of addiction. Community partners announced Monday the expansion of a prescription drug abuse prevention program to schools in 19 counties.
“Prescription Drug Safety” is a digital course that guides teens through the science of addiction, understanding prescriptions and how to intervene if someone they know is at risk of abusing a prescription. The program was launched last fall and has been implemented at Marion County schools. Now, additional funds from the Indiana Attorney General's Office, North Central Health Services and Walmart will allow more students to participate.
According to one study, one in five high school seniors report misusing prescription drugs.
"The average age of a person dying from drug overdose in Indiana is 19 years," said Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill.
"We’ve seen through research that parents are not feeling equipped to talk to their teens about this issue," said Maddy Murphy, director of global partnerships for EVERFI. "Teachers don’t have the tools to address it."
Everfi is the company that created the program. Murphy said they want to open up the dialogue on this difficult topic.
"We can empower students to be a part of creating safer communities," Murphy said.
The Indiana Attorney General's Office will provide $20,000 annually for three years to launch the program in Crawford, Dearborn, Fayette, Henry, Jennings, Ripley, Scott, Starke, Switzerland and Washington counties.
North Central Health Services will provide support for the program in Benton, Carroll, Clinton, Fountain, Montgomery, Tippecanoe, Warren and White counties.