Opioid abuse isn't anything new in Tennessee
In fact, it’s a problem that continues to grow and kill larger amounts of people every year.
And the problem could start as early as high school.
“Todays summit is for opioid use among high school athletes. And that’s not something people really think about a lot but our goal with the dept of health is to prevent substance abuse before it even starts,” says Dr. Lisa Piercey
School nurses, coaches, and others who work closely with high school athletes attended the summit to learn how to prevent prescribed drugs for an injury from becoming a dangerous addiction.
Carla Aaron who attended the summit, constantly works with high school athletes and explains why they could be more prone to using them than their peers
“Like i said a lot of times there's a lot of pressure they're wanting to know if they can go to college and play sports and even from the coaches they mean well but they need them to perform also so i believe that a lot of times it’s the mental, they're wanting to escape from that,” says Carla Aaron.
The biggest problem with opioids and high school athletes is that they want to take more so they can be back on the field sooner, but they say there’s many more approaches that they should take.
Instead, they recommend that those working with injured high school athletes try talking to the students and try physical therapy.
For 39 News, I’m Camila Rueda.