Idaho is not immune to the opioid overdose epidemic, now considered a national crisis.

That's one reason local pharmacy tech students are being trained on how they can combat the crisis from the behind the counter.

Tuesday, Carrington College held one of its mock pharmacy labs.

It's part of the college's 36-week pharmacy tech certification program.

During this exercise, students are trained how to spot bogus prescriptions. and identify anything out of the ordinary when filling a prescription.

Latest data from a Center for Disease Control analysis, reports that in 2016 there were more than 63,000 drug overdose deaths, 66 percent of those involving opioids.

Carrington College instructor Debbie Rothstein says it's now more important than ever for her students to be trained on how they can help from a pharmacy employee standpoint.

Rothstein says people obtaining fake doctor stationary and forging signatures has contributed to the opioid epidemic nationally and locally.

"We work on how they can identify a prescription that is a forgery. And also, to make sure that it is a correct legal physician or physician's assistant or nurse practitioner that has written the prescription," says Rothstein.

Audrey Breault has almost completed her pharmacy-tech certification.

Tuesday was her second mock lab.

"A lot of the components in a mock pharmacy is something you do in real life, it's the best final lab you can ever do," says Breault.

While special training isn't always required to become a pharmacy tech, Breault believes this hands-on learning will make her a more valuable employee, especially because of the opioid component of the curriculum.

"It's very important to know what is a real and fake prescription, looking over the DA number, how it's written, is it photo copied, are there other things that should be in the prescription that are not, so it's very important to know all those things," says Breault.

"I actually believe you learn more in the hands on experience because book learning is important but the application of the book learning is what really makes our students desire able out in the workforce," adds Rothstein.