The school visits provided law enforcement officials with the opportunity to talk one-on-one with students and faculty about the consequences associated with the region’s prescription drug abuse epidemic.
Prescription drug abuse is one of the leading sources of crime in the Southern District of West Virginia.
“Education is one of the key elements in stemming the tide of prescription drug abuse,” U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said. “Partnering with school administrators is one of our most effective methods to reach students and warn them of the life-and-death consequences of prescription drug abuse.”
According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2,500 youth (age 12 to 17) abuse a prescription pain reliever for the very first time every day. The Office of National Drug Control Policy research also found that the vast majority of teenagers abusing prescription drugs get them from friends or relatives.
MDENT Commander, and Boone County native, Chad Napier said, “I am here today to talk to students because in my day job, I see far too many examples of where a young person has thrown their life away to illegal drugs. My goal is to reach them now, before it is too late. I know that it is a long shot to say that my message reached every student in attendance, however, if just one person took it to heart, then it was well worth the effort.”
“We are delighted to host U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin and Mr. Napier,” said Madison Middle School Principal Shann Elkins. “The statistics that reveal the rate of prescription drug abuse among young people are sobering and it is an issue that we have to work together in order to combat.”
In September, Goodwin and Napier also visited three schools in Jackson County as part of an ongoing awareness initiative led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District to educate faculty and students about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.