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Youth Summit Addresses Substance Abuse Prevention

Indy Youth Summit

Dozens of Indiana students attended a substance abuse prevention summit at the Statehouse. (Jill Sheridon, IPBS News)

Dozens of Indiana students attended a substance abuse prevention summit at the Statehouse. The event highlighted the expansion of one program to reduce prescription drug abuse.

The online education program walks students through scenarios and information related to addiction, drug disposal and intervention. Students who attended the summit have all received the drug safety course that was created through a partnership with Attorney General Curtis Hill's office.

"My hope is that going forward you would become, each in your own way, ambassadors of wise decision making," says Hill.

The program kicked off last year, and 19 Indiana schools are using it.

Indiana State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick says more Hoosier schools need to implement substance abuse prevention education. She says that takes state support.

"It’s going to take courage from our friends upstairs to make sure we have really good policy that admits there is a problem," says McCormick.

McCormick says 6 percent of Hoosier youth have used illegal drugs other than marijuana.

Addiction specialist Brandon George says he started abusing drugs as an adolescent.

"Little did I know the decisions I was making in high school would lead me down a path that would nearly kill me," says George.

Research shows the earlier that teens use substances the more likely they are to become addicted. The prevention education program is a statewide partnership between the Attorney General’s Office, Walmart and North Central Health Services.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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