Teach Your Children Hell –
Feb. 23, 2020 – In Carter County, where 56,000 people live in a cluster of small cities and rural towns on the North Carolina border, nearly 60 people have died from opioid overdoses since 2014. That year, 8.1 million painkiller prescriptions were written in Tennessee, more than the state’s population of about 6.5 million.
Desperate to save lives, county health officials have embraced a practical — if radical — strategy for stemming the tide of addiction: Teaching children as young as 6 how to reverse an overdose.
In the past three years, the county’s drug prevention coalition has given Narcan training to an estimated 600 young children and teenagers in after-school programs, babysitting classes and vaping cessation courses. Some of the young people have in turn trained their peers and taken a leading role in distributing Narcan at community events, like a back-to-school bash last fall where one child gave out 70 doses.