Clovis West Students Promise To Be Responsible and Drug Free

October 26, 2009 6:58:47 PM PDT
Students at Clovis West are making a pledge ... to do the right thing. It's part of the "Eagles of Honor" week ... where students promise to be responsible and drug free.Students heard the hard truth about drug addiction from a man who almost lost his life to prescription drugs. Flindt Andersen said, "The choices that you make today are going to stay with you for the rest of your life."

Andersen is proof of that. A bad choice made while still in high school lead to a 20-year addiction to prescription drugs. He said, "At the end of my addiction I was taking 40-60 double strength vicodin a day."

Andersen shared his story with students at Clovis West High School telling them how his addiction almost killed him, and severely damaged his relationship with friends and family.

He's been clean for two years now-- and since then started "Prescription Abusers in Need"-- or P.A.I.N-- a nonprofit that focuses on awareness, prevention and hope.

"All teenagers think they have that S on their chest, that they are not going to become addicted that they can do anything. The main thing you can do is to not give up on them," said Andersen.

Anderson's message resonated with at least one student in the crowd ... Chad Takeda said, "I'd done codeine, vicodin, ecstasy ..."

16-year old Takeda says his drug use stemmed from a deep depression-- he even contemplated suicide. After two overdoses, Takeda was sent away to a treatment center for troubled boys in Utah.

"That was a shock to me. I never thought my parents would do anything like that-- and I think that is the same mind set a lot of kids here-- they never think their parents will do anything because they love them too much," said Takeda.

Takeda now realizes his parents love saved his life ... he wants other students to understand they are not invisible. He hopes they'll listen to Andersen's message and get the help they need.

According to "P.A.I.N", sixty percent of teens will experiment with narcotic painkillers before the age of fifteen.

Andersen tells parents to be on the lookout for changes in their child's mood and behavior, weight loss and irregular sleeping patterns.

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