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Wilmington Public Schools Addresses Opioid Epidemic with Botvin LifeSkills

WILMINGTON — Wilmington Public Schools is the recipient of a mini-grant in the amount of $10,000 for a program on behavioral health.

The Wildcat Project Part 3 is composed of three goals and objectives: prescription opioid misuse education for student athletes; implementation of Botvin LifeSkills curriculum; and mental health and substance use education to parents, staff and community members.

Intended outcomes include:

— Improving understanding of substances on the adolescent brain and knowledge of social host laws.

— Increasing knowledge of prescription opioid misuse among student athletes.

— Building awareness and support of mental health issues.

— Increasing knowledge of key risk and protective factors.

Recent Massachusetts legislation requires student athletes, school nurses, athletic directors, coaches and athletic trainers to receive education on the dangers of opioid use and misuse. According to the Centers for Disease Control, opioid-related deaths continue to increase in the United States. From 2000 to 2015, more than half a million people died from drug overdoses, which equates to 91 American deaths every day from an opioid overdose. In 2016, the state Department of Public Health reported an estimated 8 percent increase in the number of unintentional opioid-related overdose deaths among Massachusetts residents from 2014 to 2015. Middlesex County was noted to have the highest number of deaths during this time frame.

The Wildcat Project Part 3 is a collaborative effort between the Wilmington Public Schools, Wilmington Board of Health and the Wilmington Substance Abuse Coalition.

This program was funded through a grant in partnership with Lahey Hospital and Medical Center.

 

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