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Project: Opioid Epidemic: Turning Research into Practice to Improve Student Wellbeing



KDE requested assistance providing evidence-based research on initiatives to address students affected by the opioid epidemic.  This initiative will provide that research and disseminate those findings.  

High-Leverage Problem

Kentucky policymakers and educators recognize that the opioid epidemic has affected communities throughout the commonwealth.    

School districts (LEAs) throughout the commonwealth are addressing this issue as best they can, but there is a need for greater coordination at the state level.  In many cases, the programs currently being leveraged to address the needs brought on by the opioid epidemic were not created for this problem, and therefore are not aligned to address all aspects of this issue (e.g., prevention, identification, and intervention).

Approach to Capacity Building Services

LEAs would benefit from a systematic analysis of research on this topic to identify interventions that have demonstrated effectiveness to address these problems.  These interventions could include topics such as training educators how to :

  • Accurately identify symptoms of opioid addiction including identifying academic or behavioral issues;
  • Navigate Child Find obligations; and
  • Provide appropriate academic and behavior intervention and support for these students.