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West Virginia Governor signs bill making opioid addiction education compulsory in schools

West Virginia Governor James Conley Justice Jr., signed a House bill recently that mandates schools in the state to incorporate opioid abuse education in the school curriculum. The new law would make it obligatory for local school boards to implement and conduct opioid awareness programs in schools, making it a compulsory part of the curriculum.

The bi-partisan bill got the nod of House delegates Matthew Rohrbach, Ruth Rowan, Roy Cooper, Sean Hornbuckle, Kelli Sobonya, Robert Thompson, Cindy Frisch and George Ambler.

The opioid epidemic corroding the United States needs to be fought back in a big way. The worsening problem of prescription drug abuse has sent the country into a tizzy. The need of the hour is spreading awareness, particularly among school kids, that will help in subjugating the opioid crisis in the country.

The new bill pushes for a compulsory session of at least 60 minutes for sixth to 12-grade health classes, wherein the students would learn about the dangers of opioid use, the addictive flares of opioid use and safer alternatives to assuage the pain. The law would ensure that local school boards include an opioid education program in the curriculum by 2018-19.

Some key pointers of the bill

Every school district’s health and physical education curriculum will have to include an opioid education program, which would educate students about the potential threats of using and misusing opioids. All district counselors, teachers and general staff would be made a part of the program. Children need to understand the negative consequences of addiction and how the issue can pose problems in the long run.

Another important parameter set by the new bill is introducing programs that would play a role in reducing violence among the people. It would impart training to students, counselors, teachers and staff and inform them about various methods to generate skills to resolve the conflicts.

The bill has also advised school districts to invite periodically substance-abuse rehabilitation specialists and law enforcement personnel so that the students get to know some real insight of these people’s personal experiences. This will help them understand the impact of illicit drugs and alcohol use. The professionals would also inform young students about attending or responding to a police interception during a routine vehicular inspection.

“This move is crucial to building a better foundation for West Virginia’s future,” said West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. “Teaching students about the dangerous, and at times deadly, consequences of using opioids will help curb our state’s epidemic.” He felt that the bill would help provide the right tool to educate students about the dangers of opioid addiction.

The introduction of the bill came as a breather for the general population of West Virginia, which is trying its best to combat the mayhem caused by opioid abuse. An analysis by the West Virginia Health Statistics Center in February 2017 found at least 818 people in the state succumbed to drug overdoses in 2016 compared to 725 overdose deaths in 2015.

Dealing with addiction

Whatever be the substance of addiction, the problem has the potential to push one into a completely different zone, which is in contrast to a normal healthy existence. Cravings, pain, withdrawals and paranoia are the symptoms of addiction to various substances.

However, the best part is that addiction is treatable and one does not have to be crestfallen if a loved one in the family has slid into the bait of addiction. With timely treatment, one can gain sobriety and long-term recovery from addiction. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-441-4405, for further information about addiction treatment centers. Members of 24/7 Recovery Helpline are available round the clock to assist you with all your queries regarding addiction treatment.

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