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Healthcare Advocates Want Schools to Screen for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

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Drug addiction is a top priority for Ohio lawmakers who continue to see a staggering amount of deadly overdoses. As Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, a health advocacy group believes they have a way of stopping addiction at an early age.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Schools already perform different screenings to check in on student health and well-being. This can include vision, dental and even scoliosis evaluations. Now a healthcare advocacy group wants to add another process to the list—a drug and alcohol screening.

Kathleen Gmeiner is with Ohio’s Universal Health Care Action Network. She said the addition of this kind of screening can detect and stop addiction in its early stages.

“They are more likely to avoid accidents, to avoid the possibility of physical injury or even death and to stay in school and to build a healthier life," Gmeiner said .

Gmeiner said their first goal is to raise awareness and gain support for the process. Gov. John Kasich has already started a different program to encourage students to talk to parents and teachers about drug issues.

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