Mayes County Students Attend Assembly Over Opioid Dangers
MAYES COUNTY, Oklahoma - Children in Mayes County learned about the dangers of painkiller addiction and overdose deaths.
Enough pills were picked up at Mayes County pharmacies in 2016 to give every person in Oklahoma a pill, along with every person in Wyoming, and still have 74,000 left over.
Lance Lang went to Pryor schools just like the students he spoke to Monday. He was a preacher's kid, a football player, and went to Christian summer camp. He was the last kid you would expect to become an addict.
"I was you until one choice changed my life," Lang said.
Lang spoke to the high school and junior high students about how painkiller addiction nearly destroyed his life.
He was invited there by a group of business owners, school leaders and law enforcement determined to drop the number of people addicted to painkillers.
"When you get to that place of 45 or 50 pills, you do things you never thought you'd do in your wildest imagination. I've got two of the best-looking kids you've ever seen, but I was putting them into my car and driving all over the state doing drug deals," he said.
The group blocked off 725 seats in the gym to show the kids the number of people who died from painkiller overdoses in Oklahoma last year.
They had the girls basketball team create an educational video, told the story of a former Pryor student now in prison after giving birth to a baby with prescription drugs in its system, and they invited U.S. attorneys, D.E.A agents, prosecutors and others to show their support.
"This is not a judgment zone. The people here want to help you," Lang said. "Your future, your hopes and dreams are worth it," Lang said.
The group has more events planned, including adding drop boxes so people can safely dispose of their drugs, and making sure all officers have Narcan, which reverses the effects of an opiate drug overdose.