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Government & Politics

Ohio Drug Use Prevention Education Group Holds Its First Public Forum In Akron

photo of Jerry Craig
KABIR BHATIA
/
WKSU

A state committee on Drug Use Prevention Education held its first meeting in Akron Thursday, hearing testimony on what needs to be done in schools to battle the opioid epidemic.

The committee was formed in August by Attorney General Mike DeWine and state lawmakers to recommend age-appropriate drug education in schools in Ohio.

Kevin Lorson is on the committee, and he’s a professor in the health department at Wright State University.  He says that the prevention efforts are focused on elementary, middle and high school students.

“It’s a much more cost-effective – and actually a more effective -- way to deal with the issue, rather than treatment.  Our goal is to create well-rounded kids that are ready to make good decisions about being drug-free.”

Lorson adds that the message also applies to older students.

“There is a difference in terms of use and practices that kids might be involved in, but the behaviors and the knowledge and the skills that kids need, it’s very similar to what you need in [K-12] to what you might need as a college student.”

Four more public meetings will be held throughout the state in the next six weeks, and the committee’s goal is to issue a report within 90 days detailing ideas for an anti-drug curriculum.