More than $10 million will go to schools in Marion County to establish substance abuse prevention programs. The grants will support evidence-based prevention as well as social and emotional learning.
These kinds of programs provide students with skills to navigate choices about drug and alcohol use.
Many schools around the state do not implement substance abuse prevention programs that are proven to reduce addiction.
The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation created the Prevention Matters initiative in response to this gap, as the state continues to deal with the opioid crisis says President and CEO Claire Fiddian-Green.
“Unfortunately, opioids are not the only substance people deal with,” Fiddian-Green says. “There is alcohol, methamphetamines and other drugs – and the research shows that substance use starts as early as middle school and can worsen into adulthood.”
The programs are expected to reach nearly 45 percent of Marion County students by 2021.
Fiddian-Green says the schools worked with prevention specialists to learn how to sustain these programs.
“How to incorporate that into the regular school schedule to many of these curricula are actually into science classes, health classes or PE classes,” Fiddian-Green says.
These programs are part of a growing national trend encouraging substance abuse prevention in schools.