A Southmoreland senior, who has personal experience with the effects of drugs, has suffered through addiction and the death of friends, spoke recently of the drug epidemic in our region.
“Once you start using drugs, no matter what, you’re going to want more,” said the student, a drug user for several years who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “I’ve seen friends lose their entire personalities; all it does is turn you into a zombie.”
The student paused, collected her thoughts and continued. “It won’t just mess up your health, but your friends, too. People begin fighting each other just for a small amount of weed; but that’s really no reason to do anything hostile.”
The student spoke candidly about her own drug use.
“I’ve tried everything, all of it; weed, acid, shrooms, coke, prescriptions (xanax, vicodin, percocet), and I use alcohol,” she said. “Everything except heroin, because I know for sure where that will get me, or anyone else.”
She then narrated an anecdote a friend of hers who was hanging around with a group of drug users.
“I’ve been around and witnessed people become addicted to heroin or suboxone,” she said. “One person even overdosed and then later died, but I wasn’t there for that. I lost my best friend the day I walked in on her and realized she was sitting there half dead with a needle sticking out of her arm.”
The student said that most of the people she hangs around with are “older, former students of Southmoreland, and have been messing with these drugs for a long time.” But she added that it is inevitable that some high school students will become users.
“There’s plenty of this (drug) activity,” she said. “You know these kids will end up doing all the hardcore stuff because we all start out the same, using weed (marijuana) and alcohol.”
Some drug arrangements are made in school for sale later, she said, adding that many users stop short of using heroin.
“I think there are a lot of people with the common sense to stop doing drugs and never advance to heroin,” she said. “It’s too easy to say you’ll never do it, but once it’s offered to you and right then and there, you will probably feel the (temptation) to.”
But for some young adults, they already have traveled down a road from which there is no return.
“I believe the people who were older than us didn’t realize how bad the heroin epidemic was going to be, how countless lives would be lost to it,” she said. “I think the younger ones in school now take this to heart.”