Illegal drugs pose a serious problem in Bartholomew County, as the ongoing use of methamphetamine, increasing use of heroin and growing number of opioid overdoses attest.
The concern is not limited to adults, but includes children who already have substance-abuse problems or who could be exposed to and eventually use illegal drugs or alcohol.
That’s why we applaud Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. for seeking a substance-abuse grant to create a community-based counseling program to assist students in the school district.
The program would be called Counseling Counts and likely would start next school year so that it can have an impact immediately.
Bartholomew Consolidated is expected to hear by the start of school in August whether it receives a grant from the Lilly Foundation, which would be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Another important component is that Bartholomew Consolidated wants to be proactive in assisting students in need by partnering with mental health agencies and other community organizations.
Taking these steps is a wise decision. As recent public discussions have illustrated, illegal drugs — in particular opioids — have resulted in a community health crisis that requires residents and many entities to play parts in creating solutions.
Addressing substance-abuse issues with students is one important aspect of tackling the problem, and using a community-based model and local mental health resources to assist students is a sound approach.
The health and well being of students is vitally important. We commend Bartholomew Consolidated for its efforts to create a substance-abuse counseling program that will have students’ welfare at heart.
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