Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s drug prevention program has reached more than 4,600 students, according to a release.
Through partnerships with West Virginia colleges, nursing and pharmacy students teamed with the Attorney General’s Office to visit middle schools across the state.
The Attorney General’s Office coordinated events and provided the college students with a detailed curriculum, which they then presented to eighth grade students. The curriculum covers multiple aspects of the opioid epidemic, including the connection between prescription drug abuse and heroin addiction, prevention and the long-term impact of drug use.
“We received positive feedback from numerous teachers, principals and guidance counselors,” Morrisey said. “Students were actively engaged, asking questions and sharing personal stories. In fact, many of the students indicated they already have been prescribed an opioid painkiller. That reality motivates our effort and underscores the need to connect with this age group.”
The team visited 27 schools during the fall semester, and the program is set to reach more students in the spring.
“About one in four of our students from grades 7 through 12 can name a friend or family member who has overdosed or died as a result of opioid overdose,” said Patrick Leggett, counselor at Point Pleasant Jr./Sr. High. “Opioids don’t discriminate, and the students see it but may think it won’t affect them. We are grateful Attorney General Morrisey’s Office is doing this program, since the drug epidemic is something people often don’t want to talk about.”
The program was well-received by school administrators, including North Middle School Principal Rebekah C. Eyler of Martinsburg.
“With the White House Office of National Drug Control documenting that 90 percent of today’s adult addicts started using drugs during their teen years, I believe offering 8th grade students this information is critical,” Eyler said.
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