“You aren’t alone;” MHS’ SADD talk about drugs, addiction

Megan Burns, Print Editor-In-Chief

  On Monday, March 23, MHS’ Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) hosted a presentation for students where an MHS alumnus shared his story with addiction.

  “I wanted to come speak because I don’t look like your typical drug addict,” 2016 MHS Graduate Sean Lampi said. “I have a good family and was raised by loving parents. I was a good student. I just never had a solid self-image, and that led to dangerous outlets to allow myself to feel comfortable in my own skin.”

  Lampi said how he “[knows] now that [he] wasn’t the only kid who felt that way and handled their insecurities with drugs/alcohol.”

   “What happened to me could happen to anybody,” Lampi said. “Being kind, compassionate and non-judgemental is crucial to everyone’s mental health.”

  The presentation took place during first and second period. There was a panel that followed where Lampi, School Counselor Gwen Lopez and other adults answered student questions.

  “[The purpose of this presentation was] to help students who struggle (or know someone who struggles) with addiction know that they aren’t alone, and provide some practical support for how to cope and address the problem,” Ryan Buck, English teacher and SADD sponsor said.

  Buck believed this issue was important to talk about because of its large-scale impacts.

  “Drug and alcohol abuse is pretty widespread and affects every race, socioeconomic group and gender,” Buck said. “We wanted to provide students with recognition, support and guidance.”

  Lopez hopes that students know it’s “okay to ask for help,” and that “there are people at MHS that care about them and want to help them.”

  “We as a Student Support Staff are not here to get students in trouble, but to help them find ways to navigate the difficulties students encounter in their everyday lives,” Lopez said.

  With this presentation, Lampi wanted to “paint a different picture regarding addiction.”

  “There’s a stigma when it comes to addiction, as well as a false sense of what can/can’t harm you ([like] gateway drugs, [how] ‘everyone else is doing it,’ ‘it’s only alcohol and weed’ [and] ‘it’s okay because my family members do it and they’re functional’).”

  Lampi hoped that people who “listened to [his] presentation [felt] called to help those that they know who are suffering.”

  “Be kind to everyone, [be] open with loved and help one another,” Lampi said. “Life is hard enough. There’s no need to make it harder with an addiction, a secretive bout with depression or mental illness, social media or bullying.”