A former Gang member and drug addict, Michael DeLeon, was at Princeton High School on Wednesday night to speak to more than 100 people about the dangers of heroin abuse. Alongside other panelists including Acting Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri, Lt. Geoffrey Maurer and others, DeLeon sought to explain to the attendants the real effects of drugs and opiates that they might not have known about.
One notable thing about Mr. DeLeon is that he spent 12 years in prison and added two more in a halfway house. It was after these events that he turned around his life. He chose education and has earned several college degrees. He currently is a motivational speaker and a counselor with a passion for helping children to avoid falling into drugs.
Fascinated Into Drugs
Starting off his inspiring and educative speech, DeLeon said that he was fascinated into crime and drugs which according to him, are inseparable. He got a lot of admiration when he said that during his days as an addict, he was part of the problem but now that he is out, he is part of the solution. He was quick to fault pharmaceutical companies that advertise their drugs on live television. Pointing out that we live in a pill society, he was quick to tell his audience that youngsters are not lured into drugs because of pills alone. Tobacco, caffeine, and alcohol as well as many other mild substances that the society condones can lead to hard drugs too. In fact, he is against the idea of legalizing marijuana.
More potent than ever
According to DeLeon, the potency of heroin has never been as high as it currently is. The use and addiction of this drug has spread widely because it is becoming cheaper every day. With the drug cartels from South America determined to stop at nothing in their quest to encourage people to take drugs, the situation is fast becoming too complicated. Yet, the suburbs have been invaded by urban street gangs that promote the use of heroin.
The role that families play in driving youngsters into drugs cannot be ignored according to the motivational speaker. Pointing out that there is increasing lack of interaction between family members especially parents and their children, he says that it all starts at the lowest level of the society. Members of a family would rather sit around the table with each one glued on their phones than talk about important issues such as heroin addiction.
When he said that it is time for the society to be involved in the fight against drug abuse, he was supported by the panelists. Mr. Onofri pointed out that most of the first-time offender’s abuse prescribed drugs. It is after this that they slowly degenerate into taking the harder one and eventually get addicted.
Everyone at the forum agreed that legislation has to be passed to ensure that drug addiction is controlled. With the prices of heroin falling almost every day, there is no doubt that stopping the abuse will be a difficult task, but can be achieved.