St. Charles middle schoolers hear hard truth about opioids -

St. Charles middle schoolers hear hard truth about opioids

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One in three families is affected by the opioid epidemic, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. With the crisis reaching so far into society, St. Charles County community leaders are trying to get a tough, but true message out to kids.

Thursday, hundreds of middle school students in St. Charles County will attend the 4th Annual Teen Drug Summit.

St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar said the goal is to make sure the kids are hearing the hard truth about prescription drugs and their connection to heroin addiction. At the summit, they will hear from recovering addicts, families of victims who have overdosed, and see a reenactment of an overdose death.

“Our goal is to get the word out and try to control the message and make sure they hear the actual truth, the hard-hitting truth, the sometimes uncomfortable truth,” said Lohmar. “We want to drive home the concept with them that there is a stigma. If you’re going to use opiates, if you’re going to use heroin, you should be stigmatized.”

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, which is one of about a dozen partners for the CRUSH (Community Resources United to Stop Heroin) event, students as young as 12 are experimenting with opioid, which is why this summit targets young students. Organizers said about 20 students from every middle school in St. Charles County will attend.

“One of the ideas is to get these kids who do have a circle of influence to go back to their schools and talk to their friends and talk to their peers and share the message with them and I think if you have some leaders in that group you can really make a powerful impact with that,” said Lohmar.

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