New York State is launching a new initiative to battle substance abuse among students and younger athletes.
Starting next week, the Department of Health, Education Department and Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse services will begin reaching out to schools statewide.
The agencies will be notifying schools about the availability of flash drives loaded with materials in English and Spanish for coaches, teachers, school nurses, and other educators to use with students. The flash drives include more than 80 different sources of valuable information. One key piece of the resource is the Kitchen Table Toolkit, which includes documents teaching parents and teachers how to speak with young people about substance abuse, as well as materials that can be used for public presentations on the issue.
"We unfortunately know all too well in New York the devastating impact substance abuse and opioid addiction can have, and any action we can take to educate children on these dangers and save lives is an action worth taking," Governor Cuomo said. "As trusted community members who interact with students on a regular basis, teachers and coaches are invaluable resources in the fight against substance abuse. This initiative will provide school personnel with the materials they need to better communicate with students who may be at risk and help us to end the scourge of addiction across the state."
This new effort kicks off with the start of spring sports season, allowing coaches, trainers and teachers to discuss the dangers of prescription opioids with student athletes and their parents.