A national substance abuse prevention program will expand in Indiana. The announcement was made Monday at the 9th Annual Drug Abuse Symposium.
Prescription Drug Safety is a digital course that teaches students through interactive lessons. Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill says his office is partnering to expand the program to include 18 more Indiana counties. He says the courses are aimed at high school students.
"They learn how to properly use, and the proper disposal of, drugs," says Hill. "They learn how to step in when they witness another person’s misuse."
The lessons cover the science behind addiction and aim to dispel myths – including that prescription pills are not as harmful as other drugs. Hill says the average age of overdose deaths in Indiana is 19.
The digital classes will reach approximately 100 high schools.
It launched in Marion County last year.
Maddy Murphy is with EVERFI, the company that developed the program. She says early assessments of students who have taken the course are promising.
"The greatest jumps in knowledge were how to support a friend who may be at risk for the misuse of prescription drugs," says Murphy.
Walmart supports the program in Marion County.
The 10 counties where the program is being funded by the AG Office are Crawford, Dearborn, Fayette, Henry, Jennings, Ripley, Scott, Starke, Switzerland and Washington. The eight counties in which the program is being funded by North Central Health Services are Benton, Carroll, Clinton, Fountain, Montgomery, Tippecanoe, Warren and White.