Many schools around the country are trying to prevent opioid use through education campaigns. The Wall Street Journal reports that last year, CVS pharmacists made almost 3,000 presentations to school children about the dangers of misusing prescription painkillers.
Some schools are using a substance abuse prevention program aimed at students as young as fourth grade. Others are offering a texting tool that quickly connects students to a licensed therapist. The tool, called Text a Tip, hides teens’ phone numbers so they can ask questions anonymously.
More than 100 school districts in California and Illinois are using the program. “We have had kids text at a party and say, ‘There are kids using around me and I don’t know what to do.’ So we respond and say, ‘Can you distract yourself, can you leave, can you call a friend or adult to pick you up?’” said Dana Slowinski, who oversees the therapist team. “Because what we find is, in the moment kids are not thinking through their options.”