Freeport Middle Schoolers spark conversation about opioid crisis - – Rockford’s News Leader

Freeport Middle Schoolers spark conversation about opioid crisis at assembly


You might think 12 years old is too young to learn about the dangers of opioids and drugs, but here at Freeport Middle School that conversation is going on right now. 

"It started off with weed, then it spiraled off from there, and before I knew it I was overdosing and I was in rehab," said 18-year-old recovering heroin addict Molly Bray.

Bray says she started using drugs in middle school and is sharing her story to help kids avoid going down that path of addiction.

"Its important to get to kids right now in middle school, because thats when their chemistry is changing and that's when things get real," said Bray.

Real conversations powered through performance. 

The MWAH! Troupe, that  stands for Messages Which Are Hopeful, travels to schools across the state spreading messages of hope to young students who may struggle with tough situations like addiction.

"This is for everybody and it's really important we're getting this message out," said MWAH! troupe member Melanie Jones.

And on Monday, the group made a stop here in Freeport where, like many other communities, opioid use is on the rise. 

"It's becoming something that's hitting even the smallest of communities," said Stephenson County Coroner Tim Leamon.

Leamon says 17 people died of opioid overdose in 2017, a 67 percent jump from the year before. 

"As young as twelve and as old as their 70's or 80's, there's no demographic that this drug targets," said Leamon.

But by sharing their own personal stories, this group is hoping to make a difference and steer kids away from heroin and its deadly grip.

"I can do ten shows, and if only one kid gets something out of it, then that one kid is all that matters," said Bray.


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