The current heroin abuse problem in Kentucky is causing lawmakers on the House Education Committee to look for new ways to prevent sometimes deadly consequences of opioid use.
The committee-backed bill requires the state Board of Education to establish regulations for classroom instruction on prescription opioid abuse prevention. Taylorsville Representative James Tipton said these new lessons would come in elementary, middle, and high school.
“If it saves one child, if it saves one family from going for a heartbreak, I believe it will be worth the effort and time. But I believe it’s going to save a lot more than that, ” said Tipton, adding that a young woman in his district died a drug-related death just last weekend.
LaRue County Middle School teacher Carla Preston favored the bill, calling it an recognition of changing times and changing needs of students. Preston, who has taught for 21 years, would like to see some school flexibility in scheduling instruction on opioid abuse prevention.
The measure calls for incorporating the instruction in physical and health education in elementary, middle, and high school levels.
“Even if you’re not able to get to every child, if you don’t at least put the information out there, you’re not going to get to any of them,” she said.