Working to raise drug abuse awareness

Posted at 2:15 PM, Mar 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-25 20:14:39-04

Michigan Center, Mich. (WSYM) - Drug use among teens is a growing problem around the nation.

Among 11 % of Michigan Students have used illicit drugs in the past month.

That number grabbed the attention of Brea Cole, BrettHaynes, and members of the High School Leadership Class at Michigan Center High School.

They wanted to make a difference.

" We heard a lot of speakers and a lot of stories," said Brea Cole, senior at Michigan Center High School. "We figured bringing those stories back to our high school would make a large impact."

The teens organized a High School Drug Forum to raise awareness of the dangers of drugs and how they can impact lives.

"The problem is getting worse ... that scares me a lot ," said Brett Hayes, senior at Michigan Center High School.

Scott Koziol, Superintendent of Michigan Center School District, says it reinforces how important it is to let our students know this type of information so they can make good decisions.

The forum brought speakers across the state to Michigan Center High School Friday.

One of them, Phil Pavona, Executive Vice President of Families Against Narcotics, who lost his son Eric to a heroin overdose in 2011.

"We discovered in 2008 and 2009 that our son was an addict," Pavona said. " "He met the wrong people in college and became an addict."

The loss of his son still haunts him today but has motivated him to talk about the dangers of heroin and other drugs.

"I hope students just realized drugs are real," said Cole. "It's something that affects everybody not just one person ... all of us."