Meridian, ID - Ada County officials say more and more young people are abusing opioids. A 2016 National Survey on Drug Use says when it comes to misusing pain relievers, Idaho ranks fifth among people ages twelve and older.
That is the takeaway from the third in a series of public meetings aimed at addressing the opioid crisis in Ada County. The public event, titled "Helping Youth Battle the Opioid Epidemic," supplied attendees with education and resources.
Additionally, volunteers for the Ada County Drug Coalition were there to act as mentors for those seeking guidance.
"I mean, when I started using, I didn't understand exactly what I was getting into because I wasn't educated on the topic," said Allison Land, former teen opioid user. "But it, unfortunately, is that, you know, opiates are a drug that can kill you."
Speakers included a Meridian police officer familiar with the habits of today's teens.
They also had a moment of silence-- cell phones held high in the air-- as a tribute to lives lost from overdoses.
Ada County Commissioner Jim Tibbs says local politicians are beginning to aggressively question how they can address this problem, and many of them agree it begins by addressing the youth.