Schools to try educational effort on heroin
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JANESVILLE The Janesville public schools have noted the uptick in heroin activity in the community, and the district’s Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs of Abuse committee is developing a response.
“We have been brainstorming ideas and will add those ideas when we update the ATODA long-range plan this summer,” said district drug/alcohol coordinator Carrie Kulinski.
In the near term, the district is working on mailings to parents and staff sometime before school lets out in June.
And the committee is working with Partners in Prevention of Rock County, a local nonprofit, to alert the medical community to the concerns that prescription drugs are being abused, leading to heroin use, Kulinski said.
While heroin use among high school students seems to be mainly among 12th-graders, the last time Janesville students get any formal drug education is in freshman health class.
However, Craig and Parker high schools now benefit from a federally funded anti-alcohol/drug program called Project SUCCESS, Schools Using Coordinated Community Efforts to Strengthen Students.
Project SUCCESS provides social workers at both high schools that students with problems can go to, Kulinski said.
The social workers also provide programming and presentations. They can do drug screenings and assessments for students and can refer students to treatment programs.
By state law, school staff must keep information from students about drug and alcohol use confidential unless there is an imminent safety concern or the student signs a release of information, said Verlene Orr of Project SUCCESS.
If someone is using heroin, Orr said, that’s an imminent safety concern.
Orr knows of only two referrals for possible heroin use among students this year. One of those was confirmed, she said.