Drug abuse is not limited to certain age groups, and it can affect the young and old alike. Educating the public from an early age is perhaps the best way to combat the disease of addiction. Opioids are one of the leading drugs that people of all ages abuse in America. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), around 2 million people aged 12 and older were abusing prescription pain relievers (opioid pain killers) in 2015. In the same year, as many as 591,000 Americans over the age of 12 abused another similar opioid, heroin. Through opioid prevention education in schools, knowledge about the dangers and effects of opioid abuse can be explored in a safe environment.
Many children are not aware of the dangers of opioid abuse, and addiction and drug abuse remain a taboo topic in many homes. Opioid education in schools is another positive step toward combating the opioid addiction that has gripped the country.
Why Employ Opioid Prevention Programs in Schools?
One of the known causes of drug abuse and addiction is the age at which the abuse starts. The younger the individual is, the more likely that addiction will form in their later life. This is mainly due to the mental developmental changes that a young individual is going through. Drug abuse can hinder the natural growth of a child’s brain making them more susceptible to addiction. For this reason, education on the dangers of opioid abuse should begin as early as possible.
Furthermore, as opioids are one of the most abused substances in the United States and because it is a highly addictive drug, targeting opioid education in schools can be very successful at preventing the youth from experimenting and becoming a victim to peer pressure.
The Goal of Opioid Prevention Education
As with other drug education programs held in schools, the goal of opioid prevention education is to prevent drug abuse from occurring. Once drug use has started, stopping becomes much harder, often requiring professional assistance at a drug rehab to overcome.
Through the opioid abuse education, each child is given the power to make the better choice and stay away from drugs such as prescription pain killers and heroin. A major goal of the program is to help each child truly understand how just a single dose can change their lives. It helps to dispel many myths surrounding the abuse of opioids by replacing the false beliefs with hard truths.
Not only will each child learn about the effects that opioids have on a person but also what the signs and symptoms of abuse are so that each child is better prepared to identify abuse in their friends and family.
Resources are freely given for those who want to further their understanding of addiction and other commonly abused drugs. Finally, where to go to find assistance for addiction is then discussed in the opioid prevention programs so that there is no confusion on where to find help.
Each grade is given information that they can comprehend. The older children are given more information than the younger children, and the information is more in line with what they are experiencing in their lives at the time.
Opioid prevention education is a way that thousands of lives can be saved from the hardships that addiction holds. The more informed a child is, the less likely they will try dangerous substances.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.