LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Clark County School District and federal law enforcement recently brought hundreds of students together in hopes of inspiring them to be leaders in the fight to stem the growing problem of opioid abuse.
The Opioid Youth Summit held at the Venetian Theater targeted sophomores from various CCSD school who are either athletes, student council members or student representatives hoping they could spread the message on their campuses.
This as the latest survey from the Centers for Disease Control found alcohol and drug use is not uncommon among high school students in the Silver State and nationwide.
In a survey of Nevada high school students:
60% used alcohol
37% used marijuana
5% used cocaine
2% used heroin
3% used methamphetamine
6% used ecstasy
15% used Rx without a prescription
That same survey finding 30% of Nevada students were offered, sold or given an illegal drug on school property. While most of the numbers were roughly equal to nationwide results, the number of students with access to illegal drugs on school property in Nevada was 10 percent above the national average.
That is one reason law enforcement and the school district teamed up for the Opioid Youth Summit.
For hours the students listened to messages about the impacts of opioid addiction from law enforcement, former UFC champion Forrest Griffin, who lost a friend to addiction, and a mother who lost two sons on the same night.
Perhaps the most powerful was Elliot Brittan. He told the teens about his freshman year on a bus when he was first offered drugs at a time when he felt alone.
“Because of that I made the decision to use a drug,” Brittan said.
Brittan withheld few details about the path that followed including dropping out his sophomore year and eventually living on the streets.