As the nation confronts an epidemic of opioid abuse, related problems have quickly spread into schools. Teachers and education leaders say they are increasingly dealing with students who are themselves abusing drugs and prescription painkillers or who are confronting the fallout of parents and family members caught up in a cycle of addiction.
The issue has cut across geographic, racial, and socioeconomic lines. Those dealing with its effects include high-poverty and rural schools that have long been faced with a number of student challenges related to poverty and family situations.
Education Week correspondent Lisa Stark recently explored how widespread opioid use affects these schools in two recent videos.
In this clip, Stark spoke with J.D. Vance, author of the bestseller Hillbilly Elegy, A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, a book that rose to prominence as issues of rural families became a talking point during the 2016 presidential election. Vance, who was born in Appalachia and attended Yale Law School, discusses the effects of a changing economy, the roots of the opioid epidemic, and the role of schools in confronting these issues.
Listen to the entire Vance interview here.
How Are Schools Handling the Opioid Crisis?
In this Education Week piece, which appeared recently on “PBS Newshour,” Stark explores how one West Virginia district is helping students heal after their families are split apart by drug abuse.
Related reading on opioids, drug abuse, and schools:
- Drug to Treat Opioid, Heroin Overdoses Offered Free to All US High Schools
- Teen Drug, Alcohol Use Continues to Decline
- Marijuana Legalization Has Not Led to More Teen Use, Colorado Survey Finds
- Rule Gives FDA Authority to Ban Sale and Marketing of E-Cigarettes to Minors
- E-Cigarette Use by Middle, High School Students Tripled Last Year
A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.