Approximately 11 million children are suffering from drug or alcohol dependency, according to the partnership at the Drugfree.org. Substance abuse programs for youth can help individuals detoxify, but addiction survivors who share their stories can also make a difference.
This week, Fabian Debora and Juan Hernandez visited a fifth-grade classroom in Kansas City for this very reason – to talk to kids about their own personal triumphs with addiction. Both men, originally from Los Angeles, were in town to set up their art exhibit when they decided to reach out to local children, according to the Catholic Key.
“I started doing weed, then cocaine and heroin,” Debora told the news source. “Misery loves company.”
Debora says that with his mother’s support, he eventually found the strength to get help. Both men sought help to escape gangs and drug addiction from the Homeboy Industries group, dedicated to helping individuals involved in urban violence.
Nearly 23 million Americans age 12 or older are struggling with substance abuse, according to the Partnership at the Drugfree organization. While drug rehabilitation facilities can provide treatment, former addicts who continue to share their stories can have an impact on local communities as well.