BOISE, Idaho — An Idaho nonprofit is connecting teens with resources they need to live healthy, drug-free lives.
"When students are making healthy decisions, those decisions are inherently drug-free decisions, too," Idaho Drug-Free Youth Executive Director Kati Durkin said.
Durkin first got involved with the program as a student in high school.
"Students join a chapter at their school and they get together at lunch or after school and it’s the idea that they’re a group of like-minded students who are engaging in drug-free non-drinking activities together," Durkin said. "So if you don’t want to be drinking and going to parties, there’s a whole group of students who are not doing that."
Last week, Durkin joined a virtual roundtable discussion with other advocacy groups and representatives from Senator Mike Crapo's office to discuss efforts on Capitol Hill to tackle the opioid epidemic.
"We see young people using and abusing opioids, and that’s happening because the access to them is just so easy," Durkin said. "It’s incredibly easy for young people in Idaho to get opioids."
The Non-Opioid Prevent Addiction in the Nation Act, or the NOPAIN Act, was reintroduced in March and would incentivize health care providers to use opioid alternatives for pain management.
Senators from 16 states, both republican and democrat, have signed on as co-sponsors. Currently, Mike Crapo and Jim Risch are not on that list.
“It would make it easier and more affordable to obtain non-opioid pain management for those situations where quite frankly you don’t need an opioid," Durkin said. "You would have less of them floating around in people’s medicine cabinets, you would have less of them being prescribed to your teenager who just got their wisdom teeth out. They don’t need high strength oxycodone in most of those situations.”
Idaho News 6 reached out to both state senators and neither would comment on the legislation or indicate whether or not they plan to sign on as co-sponsors.
To learn more about Idaho Drug-Free Youth, click here.
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