The opioid epidemic has continued to spread over the past decade, as the amount of prescription painkillers being sold has continued to climb. Not only has the abuse of these prescription opioids caused a very severe problem in and of themselves, but these substances often work as a pipeline that pushes people towards harder street drugs, such as heroin, in order to get a stronger high for less money.
However, if you want to fight against this epidemic, the first step is knowing exactly what it is and how you can help: education. It’s for this reason that a couple states have already opted to start opioid education earlier in public schools…
State laws requiring early opioid education
In January, 2017, two states passed laws that required opioid education to start much earlier, as early as kindergarten, as a matter of fact. These states were New York and Ohio. Not only will these subjects be covered in class, but there will also be an expansion on resources that are available for parents to help talk to their kids about opioid addiction.
On the Ohio Department of Education website, there is a section that comprehensively covers how you can talk to your child about instructions of what to do in social settings with drugs, and how to safely avoid opioid abuse, as well as what happens to your body when you abuse prescription drugs.
Education is key to stopping the opioid epidemic
New York and Ohio aren’t the only places in the United States that are taking steps to fight opioid addiction. In New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie gave an official declaration that opioid abuse was a public health crisis. This led to an executive order that instructed state educators to develop stronger and more comprehensive opioid education. The reason for this is simple: education is the definitive key to stopping the opioid epidemic.
The old adage that ‘knowledge is power’ is certainly true, and it is what will separate success and failure in a situation when so many young people are exposed to medical opioids at a young age. Hopefully, this new trend of states using education as a tool to fight the spread of opioid education will continue across every state in the union, so that the rates of addiction will decline in the coming years.