WSU professor wins state award for efforts in fighting opioid crisis

Ohio Higher Education chancellor John Carey awards Wright State’s Kevin Lorson the “Chancellor’s Award.”

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Ohio Higher Education chancellor John Carey awards Wright State’s Kevin Lorson the “Chancellor’s Award.”

A professor at Wright State University was honored with a statewide award this week for his work to prevent opioid addiction.

Kevin Lorson, director of WSU’s physical education license program, received the award from Ohio Higher Education chancellor John Carey earlier this week.

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The Chancellor’s Award was given to Lorson for his development of curriculum that is designed to prevent opiod use by children. The curriculum aims to help students make healthy choices when dealing with opioids and prescription medications, according to Wright State.

“There was a need for something to help our kids make healthy choices,” said Lorson.

Lorson joked that he’s gotten to see all of Ohio because he and his coworkers have hosted 38 workshops on the curriculum throughout the state. Around 10 other states have also contacted Lorson about the curriculum, he said.

“Dr. Lorson’s passion and dedication is indicative of the commitment of so many here at Wright State,” said president Cheryl Schrader.

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Lorson’s program may sound familiar to people who went through the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program —commonly referred to as D.A.R.E. — when they were in school. But, Lorson said his program is more about educating students on how to make good decisions as opposed to teaching them about the effects of specific drugs.

“We took a step back and said what do you need to execute those healthy choices? Well you need skills,” Lorson said.

Ohio’s colleges should be involved in the fight against opioid abuse, Carey said. He expects that more institutions and professors like Lorson will get involved as the demand for solutions to the crisis continue to mount.

“We have these resources, these great minds and we need to take advantage of them,” Carey said.

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