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Smyrna students will soon be required to learn about the dangers of opioids

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Posted at 4:55 PM, Dec 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-09 14:30:59-05

SMYRNA, Tenn (WTVF) — The dangers of opioid abuse will now be a teachable moment for students in Smyrna. The school district is adding it to the curriculum next year. In 2020, middle and high school students will take a 15- week course about the risk associated with abusing prescription drugs.

The courses will cover information from the perspectives of pharmaceuticals, doctors, law enforcement, educators, the judicial system and addiction specialists.

Rutherford County commissioner Craig Harris came up with the idea and received support from the current school director and the county health department. Harris says the goal is to show students that one bad decision can ruin their lives.

"What people don’t understand is this is not the flu, once you get it it’s forever, and I want them to see the battle and the path they have to take," said Harris.

Since July 1, Harris says there have been nearly 40 death associated with opioids with an increase of drug deaths rising to 25%.

He says this was one of the main reason he decided to get into politics.

"I know it will save lives, I have no absolutely no worry about that at all; I know it will save lives," said Harris.

The program is being paid for with funding provided by the county health department. If it's successful, Harris hopes to add the curriculum to all Rutherford County schools.