High school students spent the day at Chisholm Middle School March 16, talking with students in the seventh and eighth grade about illegal opioid use. 

"Selling or taking someone else's prescription is a felony punishable by jail time," said Lauren Mitchell, a member of Youth as Resources. "The most commonly misused prescription dugs include opioid pain medication and there are many factors that fuel this problem."

"The good news is that you can make a difference," said Eli Redington, YAR member

Mirror’s Youth as Resources program is designed to bring together high school students from communities around Harvey County to not only get their input on what needs to be done about issues like underage drinking and illegal drug use, but also empower them to take action.

Friday YAR members gave statistics, ways to say no and why it is important to deal with opioids.

First and foremost, they spoke about not sharing medications.

"Some items are not meant to be shared, and it is the same with medication," Redington said. "You should not share something if your name is not on that bottle. Sharing your underwear is weird, and sharing your toothbrush is even worse. Why would you do that with your prescription medications?"

Redington stressed to classrooms that while statistics show 15 percent of teens misuse prescription drugs — and that means 85 percent do not. 

The risk, they said, is not only being caught committing a crime but also possible death from overdose.

Long-term effects from opioid use can include nausea and vomiting; abdominal distention and bloating; constipation; liver damage (especially prevalent in abuse of drugs that combine opiates with acetaminophen); brain damage due to hypoxia, resulting from respiratory depression; development of tolerance; and dependence.

Following their presentation, they offered a game show style quiz for teams in the classroom. Class members were given prizes of candy.

There more than 125 YAR members in the towns of Peabody, Burrton, Sedgwick, Halstead, Hesston and Newton, each of which select two representatives that sit on a county board.