Once upon a time “Just say no” was the “talk” you’d give to your kids about drugs. Sure, it didn’t always work, but that was the advice that was passed down from on high.

Now the Department of Public Health and Wellness and the Louisville Free Public Library are offering a free 90-minute course for caregivers and parents on how to talk to children about the heroin epidemic.

Drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental deaths in Louisville and all of Kentucky. “Heroin Hurts Louisville: What We Can Do” will offer insights as to why teenagers start to use drugs, how to start the conversation about the dangers of heroin and other substance abuse, and how to act quickly if someone they love is at risk of using. It will be taught by a certified drug and alcohol counselor.

“In Louisville, 285 of our neighbors, friends and family members died of a drug overdose in 2016,” said Mayor Greg Fischer said in a news release. “Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental deaths in Louisville and all of Kentucky. These classes represent one step in helping us understand and prevent opioid abuse in our community.”

Parents will leave with a toolkit of information and resources.

“Many of our initiatives to battle the opioid epidemic in Louisville have, by necessity, been reacting to the needs of people suffering from the disease of addiction, and protecting our community from infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C,” said Public Health and Wellness Medical Director Dr. Sarah Moyer. “But it’s also important that we take proactive steps to prevent substance abuse in the first place. These classes are a first step. If we get a good response, we expect to add more classes at more locations.”

Right now, two classes have been scheduled. The first is Tuesday, July 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Main Library at 301 York St. The second is Saturday, August 5 at 2:00 p.m. at the Southwest Regional Library at 9725 Dixie Highway. 

Registration is required. Phone 574-1623 to register.

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