Hot Springs, Ark. – The Hot Springs School District is hoping to soon have school-based peer recovery programs at the Junior and Senior High school campuses.

Last week, the school board voted to submit a proposal for funding to the Arkansas Opioid Recovery Partnership Board.

Dudley Webb lll, District 4 City Director for Hot Springs, has helped lead the efforts to create this program.

“It’s a matter of time before these drugs find their way into our schools and start affecting our youth,” Webb said.

Webb says it will provide a school resource officer, peer recovery specialist, Narcan supply, and educational materials for students.

“The program is going to address substance abuse problems for students and their families and provide resources and services to help correct those problems,” Webb said.

Webb also says a tool called Trunarc will be available through this program.

“That device will scan it and tell us exactly what type of drug that is within seconds,” Webb said.

Giving peers the chance to mentor other students or family members is another benefit to the program, Webb says.

“There’s going to be students who want to help who say listen I don’t have a drug problem myself, but I’ve got a friend or a family member who does,” Webb said.

Webb says, overall, the program aims to provide support for students and students’ families.

“We’ve got your back, we’re going to help you through this, and together you’re going to come out of this thing on top,” Webb said.

If funding is received, he says that the program would be the first of its kind in the state.

Dr. Stephanie Nehus, Superintendent of the Hot Springs School District in a statement says,

“As with the weapons detection system, the Hot Springs School District is proud to be a leader in our community by taking this proactive step to keep our students and staff safe. Safety and the well-being of everyone in our District is our top priority. We are excited to be the first in Arkansas to implement this peer recovery program once the funding is approved.”

Webb says they should know sometime in October if funding has been granted.