I have worked with young adults as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor in an academic setting for the last 20 years. It is my passion and my purpose. I have often gone to very big lengths to help these young people realize their hopes and dreams of an education and a better life. Starting out, I really didn’t understand the impact of drugs for my area or for the rest of our country. Over the years, I’ve learned. I’ve seen more than I ever wanted to see, from judgmental stares at struggling people to the arrest of my own son after watching him struggle for many years, get clean and fall again after four years. The impact of addiction and the primary sources of it are astounding. I often wonder what has led me to this place and what my purpose is now. I do know that I can no longer sit idly and try and impact one life at a time. This is bigger than me, and it is bigger than you. The drug epidemic needs to be addressed at a higher level than trying to impact one at a time. The promise I make to myself, my son, my community, my state and to my country is that I am ready to take that stand to ensure that we focus on the generation of young people we are now losing to addiction.
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