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Teaching Kids to Make the Right Choice

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SUNBURY -- Lawmakers say an important step in fighting the opioid crisis is going into schools and teaching kids while they are young. That's exactly what happened today at Shikellamy High School, but it wasn't your average presentation.

What do music and lights have in common with opioids? Not a lot unless you are Bryon Carey. He is with a nonprofit organization from Lewisburg called DJ Choices. Partnering with the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way, Carey goes into schools such as Shikellamy High School and warns kids about the dangers of opioids.

"We think it's important to get them in, pay attention and do it in an entertaining way that delivers a pretty powerful message," Bryon Carey said.

Notice the "DJ" in the name. Carey gets his message out with a laser light show and music.

"It's a big problem. Not just here but everywhere in the community," Hunter Dodge said.

The students here at Shikellamy say the most powerful part of the presentation is hearing from people who live in the area who overcame addiction.

"It's about 15 months I've been clean. Through the help of giving back and meetings, it keeps me grounded," Frank Rodriguez said.

Frank Rodriguez is a barber in Milton. He says after these presentations, kids sometimes stay after the presentation and ask him personal questions.

"If I can share my story in hopes of deterring them or them learning a little bit, I'm all for it," Rodriguez said.

"I think what hit me is that seeing that these people graduated from our high school. It's a bigger problem that we even realize," Sara Stansbury said.

Another speaker was Paula Weikel from Sunbury. Her son died last year from a heroin overdose. That part really touched Shikellamy senior Justin Kline.

"Her son went through all of that but didn't ask her for help, but she went to help him out. It really gave me chills," Justin Kline said.

State lawmakers recently told Newswatch 16 they want to see more programs like this in our schools. DJ Choices goes to schools all over Central PA. The group plans to go to Luzerne County next.