Students get sobering lessons from BlueCrest Recovery speakers

The Memorial Middle School community recently came together for its first assembly in over two years. The Woodland Park Municipal Alliance Against Alcoholism & Drug Abuse, the Woodland Park Police Department, and James Chitty and John Plunkett from BlueCrest Recovery Center located in Woodland Park spoke to the students about a simple message: drugs and alcohol lead to a life of tragedy.

The average age at which addiction starts is 15, but Mr. Chitty told the students that many times it begins much earlier. He explained that Fentanyl has changed the game, by noting that it is everywhere and in everything including mixed into marijuana and pills. "It's a game-changer," Mr. Plunkett said. "It's lights out. It's over." Many who try fentanyl, whether directly or indirectly unknowingly, can die the very first time of use due to the sheer strength of the drug.

Students received messages of real-life lessons and genuine talk from men who experienced difficulties with drugs and alcohol themselves. There were gasps from the audience when Mr. Plunkett spoke about being physically abused by his alcoholic father. From this experience, he picked up bad habits, was thrown out of school and lived on the streets for some time.

"One in every 8-10 of you in this room will become an addict," Mr. Chitty said. "The decision is on you."

Students learned that the number one most abused drug is alcohol, with Adderall following as second. There are enough prescription scripts for dangerous drugs out there. There is enough for every person in the United States.

The guest speakers left our school community with the following message: There are 52 Fridays in a year. Don’t give away your power of choice. Make the choice to stay healthy, trust your gut, and say no, because "no" is a full sentence!