Teaching High-Schoolers About the Heroin Epidemic

SCRANTON -- Kids growing up in a culture where heroin is just about everywhere and easy to get can find life difficult.  And that's why the Lackawanna County District Attorney talked with students in Scranton Thursday.

The Lackawanna County District Attorney's Office has done drug awareness assemblies before, but his one at West Scranton High School was offered to the school's youngest students.  At a time when the heroin epidemic in the county is the worst its been.

Even in a room full of a few hundred fourteen and fifteen year olds, you could hear a pin drop.

This area's deadly heroin epidemic is a tough topic for young teens.  But, it's one West Scranton alumnus Joe Kane thinks they should hear about.

Kane is a former addict.  He now works for Clearbrook Treatment Centers and talks to young people about his experience.

"A day doesn`t go by where you see something in the newspaper or on TV about the heroin crisis, it`s only getting worse, I think now more than ever we need to get out and hit the street running and really educate people about addictive diseases," Kane said.

Since Lackawanna County District Attorney Shane Scanlon started the "Heroin Hits Home" campaign earlier this year, the epidemic in the county has gotten worse. According to the coroner's office, a person in Lackawanna County dies of an overdose every three days.

"It`s just crazy how many people are actually dying and how drugs can really kill you, I`m never going to do them," said West Scranton sophomore Nick Gioia.

"This could happen at any age, I think it`s good for people to be aware and what it could do to your life and how it could affect your life," added freshman Tatum Repshis.

Juniors and seniors heard from speakers first, then the freshmen and sophomores. And these students show, you're never too young to get the message.

"No matter who you are, no matter where you live, anyone can have these problems, that these can ruin your life for the future," said freshman Emily Tunis.

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