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Rising together against heroin

Douglas Darby and Anthony Alvarado of the group Rise Together



WEYAUWEGA - A message about drugs, and addiction took center stage Wednesday, at Weyauwega-Fremont High School.

The presenters say, drugs can be found anywhere, even at a school of 250 students.

Weyauwega-Fremont School District Administrator Scott Bleck says he deals with a handful of drug cases each year.

"As a school district, we're not immune to substance abuse. It doesn't stay out of our realm. It can be part of our school community, unfortunately," said Bleck.

The police chief says the department of four full-time and four part-time officers is busier than ever.

"Just about every night, we have a drug arrest of some sort. Last night, the same thing. Another drug arrest. Our officer was just out on a normal traffic stop," said Jerry Poltrock, Weyauwega Police Chief.

Poltrock says prescription drugs, and heroin are his biggest concerns.

"These opiates are very addictive. And then when the Percocet or 'Oxy' doesn't work anymore, they step it up to heroin.

And that's why Rise Together was called to help. Community leaders discovered motivational speakers  Anthony Alvarado, and Douglas Darby at a recent drug conference in Manawa.

The two are recovering addicts, spreading a message of change to students.

"There has been five overdoses already this month in this area. This is something that's happening, no matter what city you come from. No matter what part of society you're in, we're seeing this impact every person," said Anthony Alvarado, Rise Together.

"We're talking about addiction, or we're talking about recovery on any basis. Anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts. We're talking about dealing with life on life's terms," said Douglas Darby, Rise Together.

It's a message that hit home for many students Wednesday.

"I hope that everyone's talking about it in the community, and trying to make a change. Trying to stop the use of heroin, drugs, or any addiction," said Jordan Krause, Weyauwega-Fremont High School Senior.

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