New drug-prevention app exceeds expectations in Lexington

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - In January 2020, Mayor Linda Gorton announced a new app to help fight the opioid crisis in Lexington. It's an app called Full Energy, No Drugs, or FEND. It rewards Fayette County students for learning about the opioid epidemic.

The "Full Energy, No Drugs" (FEND) app launched in Lexington in January 2020.

Only a month and a half after the FEND app launched, community coordinator Devine Carama says the teens seem to love it. He says more than 1,200 students have downloaded the app. Of those, about 80 percent of teens use the app regularly.

“Our goal was 2,000 downloads after six months and obviously after just a month and a half we're halfway there," Carama announced proudly.

The teens aren’t using the app because of school lessons, at least not yet. "We are working on getting a curriculum to be able to work with the school system but right now it is just a game app. So they are doing it by choice," Carama explains.

It's not the conventional curriculum students get in a drug prevention program. FEND includes things names of street drugs, drug mixtures, and how to recognize if a person is overdosing.

While teaching teens is one thing, making sure they actually put the lessons to action is another.

"Whether they actually apply that... we'll just have to see,” Carama says. “But just seeing them excited about an anti-drug movement is a beautiful thing. We're hoping that it can make a lasting impact in the future.”

Carama says the program will have a major announcement in the final week of February. Without giving away too many details, he says it’s a big opportunity for high school seniors.