LEBANON, Ind. -- Heroin overdoses and deaths are sweeping the country – even in rural Boone County.
In Lebanon, high school students gathered for an assembly Friday to talk about the realities of heroin and addiction. During the assembly, one-third of students indicated they personally knew friends and family members struggling with addiction.
"I have a few family members who have died from drug use or are using drugs right now," said Lebanon High School student Evan Shambaugh.
The organization Steered Straight brought its anti-drug campaign to Boone County. Michael DeLeon, the driving force behind Steered Straight, says the country is in the throes of a public health crisis. DeLeon says drugs are the reason his mother was murdered, his wife and children were threatened and he spent 12 years in prison.
"I have a long history … criminal activity, gang activity, drugs, prison," DeLeon said. "It takes a lot. I'm scared out of my mind. I'm petrified. And I'm on a seven-day-a-week mission because I'm so scared."
DeLeon says the legalization of marijuana for recreational use is a Trojan horse that could spell the downfall of the country.