The knowledge and perception of opioid abuse and its long-term effects among high schoolers
(1) The Walker School, Marietta Georgia
The opioid crisis is a major problem in the United States. After discussing with researchers who are on the front-line of this crisis, it was determined that information about the perception of adolescents on the opioid crisis was limited. Therefore, we assessed if there are differences in knowledge about opioids between 9th and 12th graders in a suburban, independent high school. Knowledge and perception of opioid abuse and its long-term effects was measured by a series of surveys. Hypothetically, 12th graders would have a greater knowledge of opioid abuse and its long-term effects as compared to the 9th graders because the 12th graders have spent more time in school. An educational intervention trial was done with the 9th grade students, and surveys were given to assess if the participants of the lecture gained any knowledge. The statistically significant results collected demonstrated that 12th graders had a greater knowledge of opioid abuse and its long-term effects than the 9th graders, confirming our hypothesis. Our sample size could have limited the statistical significance of some of the trials and confidence in our results can be strengthened by further replications of our experiment. The data collected in this study can be beneficial to fighting the opioid crisis present in the United States by targeting specific age groups with different educational strategies.