FARMINGTON, Maine. (WABI) As the opioid epidemic continues to take the life of one Mainer every day, Senator Angus King is speaking with students to get their perspective on drug prevention education.
He visited Mount Blue High School in Farmington on Wednesday to find out what can be done in Maine schools to prevent opioid use and raise awareness about the issue.
"All teenagers think they're immortal and it's not going to affect me, I can do anything. The problem is this is so insidious and so dangerous, these drugs, it doesn't take a long path to get hooked. It just takes one or two uses and then it hijacks your brain. These are good kids. We want to figure out how to keep them away from what can only be termed a catastrophe," said King, (I).
Senator Angus King held a roundtable discussion with Mount Blue High School students, teachers, administrators, and local health professionals on Maine's opioid crisis.
Students shared what they knew about the heroin epidemic in the state and offered insight on how drug use prevention is perceived in high school.
"One of the students said, and a number of them said, that this really has to start in middle school, sometimes even before, so that they can make good choices and they can re-enforce each other in making good choices," said King.
High schoolers here in Farmington say drug use hits close to home for some of them. Despite the small population of the close-knit communities they live in, heroin has taken the lives of those in some of their neighborhoods.
Positive peer pressure and drug education at an earlier age were two of the suggestions these students recommended to prevent drug use.
"Be leaders by example I would say," said Aidan Salisbury.
"And being more conscious of how it affects people's lives as well," said William Salisbury.
"Jacob and I are still going to try to be a positive influence in the community and around the school, and we're going to keep trying to do that," said Griffin Mayhew, referring to his friend Jacob Miller.