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District 20 takes proactive approach to opioid epidemic in Colorado

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Colorado Springs District 20 is hosting a conversation with parents about the youth opioid crisis.

The most recent study by the El Paso County Public Health Department shows that 13.7 percent of students in the county have taken prescription pills without a doctor's prescription.

That's 1.3% more than the state average.  

District 20 says the opioid epidemic hasn't impacted their schools yet -- but mental health issues have -- so they aren't taking any chances.

"Kids report more anxiety and depression across the nation, especially in Colorado, and sometimes we see kids self-medicate with substances," says District 20 Health and Wellness Specialist Martha Hinson.

The parent academy will be led by Dr. Michael Wittenkamp, a pediatric critical care physician at Children's Hospital Colorado, who also has two high school students in the district.

Along with opioids, Wittenkamp will be discussing other substances children and teens are abusing, including prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications.

The district hopes the conversation will educate parents on how they can help and support their kids who may be struggling with addiction, and prevent substance abuse altogether.

Local News / News

Mia Villanueva

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