HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - Ray Lozano, a national drug awareness speaker, kicked off his tour of Harrison County schools Monday, sparking a candid conversation about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
The Harrison County Elks Lodge 2875 received a grant to bring Lozano to schools between October 2-4.
At South Harrison High School Monday, students said that during visits like these, it's hard not to think about the realities in their own community.
"It just hits you all at once," said Logan Peck, a senior. "Like 'wow, that's really here.' You see it on the national news and stuff and you're like 'well, thankfully I'm not around that,' but you are."
Students acknowledged the prevalence of heroin and methamphetamine and the consequences they see playing out in Harrison County.
"I really struggle, because a lot of the students that I personally talk to where there's drug abuse in their home, they're raising smaller siblings, they're worrying about their parents," said Raelynn Michael, the school's counselor.
And given the impact drug abuse can have in schools, some students believe they have a role to play in facilitating conversations surrounding drugs.
"I really think the big thing would be getting rid of the stigma around drug use," said Hunter Moore, a senior who is involved with student government.
You can hear more from students in the full story above.
Meanwhile, Lozano will hold a seminar for parents and community leaders at night. His schedule is as follows:
Monday, October 2, 6-7 p.m. at South Harrison High School
Tuesday, October 3, 6-7 p.m. at Lincoln High School
Wednesday, OCtober 4, 6-7 p.m. at Bridgeport High School
Lozano became involved in this field after years of being exposed to drugs growing up. The conversation with Lozano is above.