Perry Township receives $517,265 grant for drug prevention education


Graphic contributed by the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation

Last month, Perry Township received $517,265 to support drug prevention education. This grant is intended to help prevent students’ substance abuse and improve their well-being overall by instituting prevention programs and providing teachers with different resources to help prevent substance abuse, according to administration.

“We believe education about prescription drug abuse can make a significant impact on helping our students make responsible choices,” Superintendent Patrick Mapes said. “We also want to help them understand that prescription drugs, when misused, come with many of the same risks as illegal street drugs.”

The grant is a part of Prevention Matters, a a three-year initiative that assists schools in sustaining proven substance-use-prevention programs. Through this program, teachers and staff will be given the materials and resources to help prevent students’ substance use.

“The health and safety of our students are a priority,” Mapes said.

According to Newport Academy, children and teens who use alcohol and drugs are more likely to have a substance-use disorder as adults. The grant is focused on preventing this and allowing students to live long, healthy lives.

Principal Brian Knight says that it’s hard to say how many students at SHS are affected by substance abuse. He says that there are enough drug and alcohol references on television and in conversation that every high school student has come into contact with it in some way.

“There are enough problems in Indiana and in the area that I don’t think it’s going to hurt in any way, shape or form that we spend more time trying to talk to the kids about the effects (of substance use),” Knight said.