Lawmakers turn to students for ideas to battle opioid epidemic

    Students gave presentations at Battelle on some of the ideas they've come up with to help battle the opioid epidemic and educate students about addiction (WSYX/WTTE)

    Students from around Ohio gathered at Battelle Thursday to help solve the growing opioid epidemic.

    They used skills and techniques learned in the classroom and applied it to a real-life situation that is spreading across the nation, especially in Ohio. Many of the students who participated in this showcase were unaware of how big the drug problem was in their own neighborhoods.

    “It was really shocking to see how close to home this actually hits,” said Ryley Boddeker-O’Connor, a student from the Metro Institute of Technology.

    Many of the groups presented ways to prevent drug overdoses before it becomes an addiction.

    The students from Metro created an automatic pill dispenser that monitors the amount of drugs administered to someone.

    “Every other day will be locked except the day you currently are at, so that way you can’t have an overdose,” said Metro student Trey Roudebush .

    A group from Ridgeview Junior High in Pickerington reached out to a younger audience by creating a Twitter account and connecting through social media.

    “We are one of them. So listening and talking with them is more connection than an adult talking down to a student,” said student Nina Azadi.

    This showcase caught the attention of state officials, who are invested in the opioid crisis. Attorney General Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Jon Husted made an appearance at the event, examining the projects that could help stop heroin addiction.

    Both officials agreed that the first step in ending this epidemic is making sure the younger generation is educated on what it is.

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