New drug safety program aims to curb opioid addiction before it starts

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Jose Rios is doing an exercise on how to properly dispose of unused medicine.

“It dissolves the medication,” Rios said.

He is among dozens of students at Capitol Hill High School learning about prescription drug overdoses through a program created by EverFi and funded by Walmart.

It’s now being offered in 26 counties in Oklahoma.

“We’re really excited to be on the forefront of this opportunity and anytime we can educate our kids, it’s definitely something we want to do,” Adam Jewell, Capitol Hill High School Principal, said.

Students will cover topics like addiction, medical uses, and potential dangers.

Unfortunately, Oklahoma leads the nation in abuse of painkillers.

Each year, almost 700 Oklahomans die from accidental overdoses.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter hopes those numbers will go down by preventing addiction before it starts.

“There’s no more important exercise to get a handle on this epidemic than to keep people from getting started down the wrong road,” Attorney General Mike Hunter said.

At Capitol Hill, the program is offered through the family and consumer science class.

“I really wanted to learn how the medication was going, how it’s treated, how many times you can get it, how many times it can be refilled,” Rios said.

It’s just one way the state is hoping to decrease the opioid epidemic.

“The kids that stepped up today to learn about this, I really can’t say enough about how proud I am,” Hunter said.

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