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Students protest prescription drug abuseTell North Platte what you think
Photo by Angela Hipp
Photo by Angela Hipp
Eighth grader Jasmine Boo
Photo by Angela Hipp
Charles Wee and Andrew Kittle
Photo by Angela Hipp
In the foreground, from left: Jana Lliah Bourgeois, Tahlia Steinbeck and Carli Bales.

A line of 50 middle and high-school students, dressed as zombies, flashed signs Thursday afternoon at passing motorists at the busy intersection of Philip and Dewey, demonstrating against drug abuse.

Medicines in home cabinets are highly susceptible to theft, misuse, and abuse, they said.

“We know that misuse continues to rise,” said Asten Golter, 13. “And most of the drugs that are abused come from the home.”

The group -- the Lincoln County Youth Leaders -- aim to make people more aware of drug take-back day, where unused medicines can be safely disposed.

Unused meds can be dropped at the Platte River Mall from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, June 17.

Drug Takeback Day is held at the mall every third Saturday.

According to a 2014 study of Lincoln County senior high schools students, 13% have used meds without a prescription, and 40% of the seniors knew where to find the drugs if they would want them.

Protestor Kennedyanne Winter said the group decided to protest without announcing their intentions, using the element of surprise to their advantage.

Another protester, Ella Harmon, said people might go out of their way to avoid a demonstration if they know it is coming.

“It went really well,” Winter said. “We were able to get the message out to cars driving by.”

The message is important to get out. Drug abuse can turn people into zombies, the group said.

The protestors attended a three-day camp at Camp Maranatha, hosted by Lincoln County Community Connections, to learn about the issue and methods to reach a wide audience.  

Over the next year, Lincoln County Youth Leaders and Community Connections plan to give presentations in schools, write and record public service ads, organize public events, and take other steps to get the information out, the group said.

“By taking all these actions we hope to get our message across about the dangers of medicines and the importance of getting rid of old or unwanted prescriptions and other medicine,” they said in a press release.

Makayla Dewolf, a member of Lincoln county youth leaders, said “I love when I get to go out and take action in my community.’’

More information is available at 308-696-3357 or on the Community Connection website at www.communityconnectionslc.org.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 6/3/2017
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