Thursday, November 6, 2014

Facing the Rise in Drug Deaths in Our Communities

By Lina Diakite

After the multiple deaths and rising awareness of heroin and other drug use in Rockland County, I interviewed a 22-year-old Nanuet High School alum about the growing problem. The alum, who would rather remain nameless, feels the problem started recently within the county and has only gotten worse.

Since Nanuet High School recently put up a banner alerting students about the troubles and deaths from these drugs, many people had their own opinion on it. The high school alum states "this wasn’t a problem when I was in high school, and it wasn’t just something the school didn’t know about, we just weren’t doing such harsh drugs, we knew better."

It is not only in Nanuet where this is happening, all over Rockland people are losing their life over these drugs. I asked the alum if they knew someone that was or is using these drugs;  "unfortunately I know someone that is currently using and someone that was and passed from them. I never thought I would be affiliated with someone that did such a things, but I guess things and people change."

I then asked how or if she has tried to help her friend from using. "It’s easier said than done, you want to trust your friend when they say they’ll stop but the next time you see them you realize nothing’s changed," she says with her head down. "They need more help than from me, but I think the most important thing is to not give up on them."

The growing use of these drugs has caused police to crack down, schools to raise awareness to students, and even local news to spread the word about the problem. I asked the alum how they think the problem could be fixed. "The approach that is being taken now is all we can do," she continued, "being aware of the dangers of these drugs is all we can do to stop it; we almost need to scare any more people from touching it."

I asked the former Nanuet student if they were to give advice to a current student about the drug what she would say. She answered by saying "well, this problem is not only with younger teens in high school but it definitely should be stopped and the problems should be well informed at that age." She continued, "If I did have to give a student advice I would simply tell them, it’s not worth your life and friends and family, and you will lose at least one of them."

As hard as it was for the alum to reveal the information about her friend and people that have died from the drug, she said she felt better telling a sad story so people would understand the harm of doing it.

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