Harvey County teens encourage peers to avoid drugs

NEWTON, Kan. (KWCH) A group of teens from Harvey County are working to encourage students not to do drugs and drink alcohol.

Their latest initiative includes a new program, Generation RX, where middle school students will be trained to avoid prescription drugs after several students were arrested for selling drugs just last week.

The group is called YAR. It stands for youth as resources.

The teens go to middle schools to talk to students about drugs.

Students from all cities in Harvey County are involved, and the group just added Halstead, Newton and Peabody to the organization this year.

Just like week, officers arrested five teens and two adults for selling prescription drugs and marijuana.

"It was an awakening, but with YAR we're trying to change that, and we're going to do better," said Newton High School student and YAR member, Linda Moyo.

"I mean it wasn't really a surprise because I know that drug problems, they're everywhere," said YAR member Lauren Thompson.

Moyo was in class when it happened.

"They had a lock down, so you just heard the dogs," said Moyo.

YAR members want to keep arrests like that from happening in Harvey County.

"We actually have a program called Generation RX," said Thompson. "A lot of us have said, you know, we've never been trained how to avoid opioids, how to say no to those. We've always been talking about marijuana and alcohol, so we're trying to introduce that to middle school students because it looks like that is a little bit on the rise."

The 154 students involved in YAR will pass out drug deactivation systems and visit classrooms to talk to middle-schoolers.

"It's coming from kids," said Thompson. "It's not coming from adults. We're always told not to do drugs or about the dangers of drugs from adults, and kids are always thinking what do you know? When it's coming from someone from your school, I think it comes a little to heart more because they know about the temptations. They know about the pressures."

"Happiness comes from within, and they should not be turning to those things to find their own happiness," said Moyo.