Opiate abuse has become a big problem

Opiates are easy to come by. They are prescribed for everything from sports injuries, to dental work, to managing pain. While they are prescribed by most physicians for all the right reasons, many times they get into the hands of others who mean to use them for the wrong reasons. If you look way back in your medicine cabinet, you might find that bottle of Vicodin that you did not use up and it disappears without you even knowing it is gone. Maybe you have a refill on that Percocet script you didn’t fill, but your teenager did.  These are real-life scenarios may sound far-fetched to some, but for parents in fear their child is using or the teacher who sees signs that something is just simply wrong with a student, the effects of these seemingly small things can be devastating…or even deadly.

Welcome to this one-stop resource for opiate/prescription medication information for the Stark County community, a collaboration between Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery, Drug Free Stark County and the Stark County Educational Service Center. Prescription medication/opiate use and abuse has risen to epidemic levels in not only Ohio, but our nation as well. We are not taking these alarming statistics sitting down. There is hope…there is help.

This website toolkit is a resource for educators, parents and even students themselves to provide an abundance of information about this pressing issue. There are three sections, each dedicated to the three groups above. Each section is further segmented by age level; elementary, middle and high school and provides information germane to what that particular group needs to know. The pages are chockfull of everything from signs and signals of use, to street lingo, to how to talk to a friend or a loved one you believe is using, to excellent websites on which you can find a wealth of information and so much more.

Stark County’s Opiate Epidemic: an Educator’s perspective

Stark County’s Opiate epidemic from two educator’s perspectives. Shown here are Erica Knowles the Principal of East Canton High School, Mike Lewis, Supervisor at RG Drage Career Center and moderating the discussion is Kay Port the Director of the CARE Team Initiative a program of the Stark County Educational Service Center.

Little Pill, Big Problem: Ohio’s Opiate Story

is a 3-minute motion graphic video summarizing what the State of Ohio is doing to address prescription painkiller abuse. This video takes the viewer on a journey illustrating the scope of the problem and highlights some of the steps being taken to resolve the crisis.

Opiate abuse has become a big problem in our Stark County schools from elementary children crushing pretzels and pretending to “snort” them in imitation of what they see online, on TV and from their older siblings, to middle and high school students both using…and selling.