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A group called “Rise Together” is trying to creating positive changes when it comes to drugs in Wisconsin communities. Tuesday night, it worked with Riverview Heath Care Foundation, local schools and law enforcement, targeting substance abuse.
Many times when we speak about the problems of street drugs like heroin, you’ll hear the word “awareness”, but perhaps Rise Together’s bigger goal is something that can be found in their mission: “Bring hope to the addicts that struggle every day and help prevent our youth from going down the same path of suffering.”
Douglas Darby is the CEO and Co-Founder of Rise Together. He says along with education, they also show the other side of the coin.
“We show the hope of what recovery can bring, regardless of what you struggle with,” explains Darby.
Many of the members themselves have been down that path and are on the road to recovery.
“It brings a realism to the story, to the message. Here is a group of individuals who have been there,” he says. “We stand up there on stage and bare our soul for two hours in the hopes that at least one kid will come up afterwards and share their story for the first time or ask help for the first time.”
Tuesday night, Rise Together gave their presentation to parents.
Nicole Rae has been involved in the group for the past year. She says people, especially parents, need to know the problems are in their own backyards.
“It’s not just in bigger cities. When i was growing up , the problems that are happening now, weren’t happening,” says Rae.
That’s just the message students are taking away from the presentation.
“I just think it’s really kind of scary that those are just available to people in our community,” says Kali Henry, an 8th grade student at East Junior High School in Wisconsin Rapids.
“I think it’s kind of weird of how many people in my community use heroin and drugs. (I’m) definitely not going to touch heroin or drugs or anything like that,” says Ambryanna Musch, also an 8th grader at East Junior High School.
Darby says the most dangerous words a parent can say is “not my child”. That’s the message he hoped to get across to those sitting in the audience.