By Jessica Tracz

I attended the recent public forum in Oxford about the issue of heroin. Kacie Rumford was a victim who used heroin and fatally overdosed. It was truly shocking to sit there and listen to how heroin affects people’s lives and their experiences with this drug. Heroin is cheap and it is available locally so many high schoolers are trying it out, not knowing that if they keep using it this could lead to death. The drug is in every school around this area, but our high school really doesn’t spread the awareness about this drug that could even be sold in our hallways.

We need to do a better job at letting students know what can happen. Listening to how Kacie’s father had to see his daughter die and then later finding the blue baggies that once had heroin in them is truly heartbreaking. It's also heartbreaking to hear about how other people are affected by drugs. I know because I have family who has dealt with this drug. It is incredibly hard to see a woman not much older then me leading from one drug to the next and then overdosing.

All the high schools really need to step in and teach their students the harm of not only heroin, but other drugs as well. Yes, we all know we have to sit through a health class where teachers tell us “don’t use drugs” but how is that going to be enough to get it into teens' minds that it is not the right thing to do until they lose someone that they care about to a drug overdose?

During the meeting, many things impacted me. The fact that there were many people my age there was very surprising. Hearing all the stories from people about a son or daughter who is addicted to heroin was actually very hard to listen to because I'm in a similar position with my family.

One good outcome of the event was that there was a very good turnout for people to just get information. The police were there, as was the mayor of Oxford, and there were all these organizations that can give help to people who need someone to talk to. Yes, it was hard to hear that many young people are starting to use this drug, but there are many people out there who are willing to hear why you think choosing drugs can be an escape. They can tell you how drugs aren't the answer, and how heroin make you feel great when you take that first hit, but what happens when the feeling is all gone and you're not waking up?

 

(Editor's note: Jessica Tracz covered the town forum as an intern for the Chester County Press. She will be a senior at Avon Grove High School).