Training teens for the opioid crisis for goodness' sake

With the opioid epidemic at an all-time high, the old debates have changed. It's no longer necessarily about preparing young people to cope, the question now is how young should people be trained to deal with the opioid crisis.

The University of the Sciences brought in hundreds of young people to get ready to save lives.

One of the teachers involved, Van Truong, said the event was important to her Central High students.

"Our students who are living in certain areas in Philadelphia may experience this every day and I think this experience is very impactful to them," said Truong.

Katelyn Cyril, Leona Thomas and their teacher, Van, were among the hundreds from Central High School who spent the day at The University of the Sciences learning about saving lives. They are interested in eventually pursuing careers in medicine. So, learning CPR and what to do in the event of an overdose are skills they will likely use later. Katelyn said some may need to use now.

"If you're ever thrown into something that happens like that, where someone isn't breathing, someone isn't responsive, it's better to know exactly what to do in order to basically save their life," said Katelyn.

Saving lives of people overdosing was one of the things they learned. On one hand, it was obvious that not having to panic in a life-saving situation was pretty empowering to the students.

On the other hand, it is difficult to think that teenagers live in a society where it's so likely they'll see someone overdose that the training is necessary.

Their teacher explained the fact the teens do see things and that is why they should all want to be prepared.

"Though the reality is that we have these concerns that arise in our communities. Hopefully we can influence our students to make informed decisions and become change agents to make our communities better places," Truong explained.

As they left the University of the Sciences, they seemed motivated to take their new skills and take on the challenge to make the area better for goodness' sake.