Lexington launches free app for youth to educate them about opioids; promoters hope to roll it out across state this year

Image from the FEND website
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By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

Lexington is offering a new app called FEND, for “Full Energy, No Drugs,” to aid in the education and prevention of opioids among Fayette County’s 75,000 youth.

Mayor Linda Gorton announced Jan. 6 that the app will be offered through a partnership between the city and Preventum Initiative It is funded by private donations, grants and corporate sponsorships.

“Teaching young people about the dangers of addiction, opioids, and prescription drugs better equips them to handle situations, helps arm them with useful tools, and we hope, deters them from the use of illicit or non-prescribed drugs,” Gorton said at a news conference.

Dr. Jacquii Burgess, executive director of Preventum Initiative, said FEND gives young people the facts about opioids, prescription drugs, and addiction so they can make informed choices about their health.

“Understanding what an opioid is, why they’re so addictive, and how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose can potentially save a life,” Burgess said in the news release. 

The app, which is offered for free in Apple and Google Play stores, will reward Fayette County youth for using the app. A news release says the campaign for the app includes a competition between Lexington high schools and will reward youth who use it with gift vouchers, streetwear, concert tickets, athletic events and other rewards.

Burgess told Kentucky Health News that the app can be accessed and opened by all teens across the state, but only those in Fayette County will be able to redeem the localized rewards.

“We are currently working with our partners in the state of Kentucky and hope to roll out the full version of FEND statewide in the coming year,” she said in an e-mail.