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Opioid Abuse Prevention Education Bill Approved

Chalermchai Chamnanyon, 123rf Stock Photo

The heroin abuse problem in Kentucky is causing lawmakers to look for new ways to prevent sometimes deadly consequences of opioid use. 

The House Education Committee backed bill on Tuesday that requires the State School Board 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 gonna save a lot more than that.” Tipton said. 

LaRue County Middle School teacher Carla Preston favors the bill, calling it an awareness of changing times and changing needs of students. She said she thinks the drug education programs are beneficial.

“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.” Preston said. 

The 21-year veteran teacher said she would like to see some school flexibility in scheduling instruction on opioid abuse prevention.


“If they had different programs that they could present to schools and say, ‘Ok, these are the choices you have.’ As long as schools have some flexibility I think that’s quite doable and may not necessarily have to replace it with something, but maybe able to work it into the schedule.” Preston said. 

The bill, as written, requires the State Board of Education to development regulations for instruction to be incorporated in health and physical education.

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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