Online education app aims to teach kids about drug abuse

Health

A new state program is focused on keeping kids off opioids.

Middle schools across western Massachusetts will soon launch an online-app to help students recognize their risk for substance abuse.

“It helps them think about what kind of personality they have, how they handle stress, and how they interact with people,” Ruth Ever, the Easthampton Healthy Youth Coalition coordinator said. 

“Project Here” is the first of its kind initiative to make substance use prevention education available to every public middle school in the state.   

Through integrated in-classroom and mobile learning experiences, “Project Here” will educate students about the risks and consequences of using or experimenting with drugs.

The app features games, quizzes, and scenarios students can use to navigate through difficult situations and make healthy decisions in the future. 

Easthampton is among the western Massachusetts middle schools that have received the “Project Here” grant. 

It’s part of a $2 million partnership with Attorney General Maura Healey, to tackle the fight against opioid addiction.

“We are trying to prevent addiction,” Ever said. “We’ve been doing substance abuse prevention work with the youth for the past five years. So the programs that we are doing have been proven to work, we just have to engage the families.”

School officials told 22News, the online-app is not in use yet in Easthampton.

They hope it will be used starting in the next couple of weeks. 

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