“This epidemic of opioid use and abuse is not limited to any part of our state,” Rutledge said at the program launch. “Arkansas ranks number one for prescription drug misuse for ages 12 to 17. We want to be number one in a lot of things, but not that.”
“By implementing this Prescription for Life program, we are hoping to teach young people, grades 9-12, about the dangers,” she said. “Too many people are having access to prescription drugs from one another, one in four try it from one another, they try it from family members, so talking to them about the dangers and just because a doctor prescribed it to someone doesn’t make it safe.”
“My goal is to save lives by you people understanding the dangers of prescription drugs, too often teenagers, especially, don’t often know how quickly they can become addicted to these drugs,” General Rutledge said.
Rutledge said as schools across the state sign up for the program, that’s when they will implement it into individual school systems.
“What we don’t want to happen is for young people to have 30 minutes of information and then not be exposed to it,” she said. “We want to be able to go back to them and see how much they are learning each year and to see what their exposure is.”
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