Opioid presentation impacts students

From 2000 to 2015, over half a million people died from an opioid overdose (CDC).

OHS administration decided to do something to change that fact. On April 14 and 19 students received a presentation on the effects of opioid abuse.

Opioid abuse has become so widespread that drug dealers have been known to target teenagers. Neighboring high school Kirkwood experienced two fatal overdoses in the past four years.

“You know a lot of people think ‘oh that stuff happens’, but it happens in the city or it happens in North County or in big cities, but it happens here,” assistant principal Jason Buatte said.

Students watched a documentary called “Chasing the Dragon” followed by a question and answer session with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents. The documentary followed the stories of several opioid addicts, from the side of both the user and from family members. For several cases, addiction started with abuse of prescription painkillers which eventually developed into heroin use. The personal testimony left an strong impact on OHS students.

“The video showed me that heroin barely ever lets you live the rest of your life,” Scott Wolf (9) said.

DEA field agents and analysts got to speak to the students about the impact of these drugs.

“There is a drug problem and I’d like to make an impact,” DEA agent Marissa Lee said. “If we can save one life, then I’ve done my job.”

Today (April 20) from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Gym A, there will be a community presentation on opioid abuse followed by a question and answer session with a DEA official.

“If you’re having an issue, please communicate with your parents, teachers, friends to not give into the temptation of it,” Lee said. “It’s a bigger issue than what you think you can take on for yourself. One dose can be lethal.”