Ramon C. is a Sociology Major at CSUCI and a Straight Up intern.
Recently, I had an opportunity to accompany Straight Up’s Executive Director Katherine to a meeting at a sober living home in Simi Valley. Concerned community members had reached out to Straight Up to partner on prevention presentations for schools.
The experience was a total eye opener for me. There was a variety of sober residents in attendance — from young adults (possibly fresh out of high school) to a much older crowd that have had a lot more experience in life and hardships. I honestly saw myself in a lot of these people, being a recovering addict myself.
The meeting began and the discussion took off. I was shocked to find out how big of a problem heroin currently is in Simi Valley. I always thought of Simi Valley as more of a rich, upper middle class society that didn’t have much problems at all, but I was wrong. Drugs have no limits, and will find their way into any society regardless of socioeconomic status.
The discussion turned to ideas about what the community can do to make parents more aware of what’s going on and how to work together. A lot of parents can live in denial, and refuse to believe that their kids could fall prey to drug abuse.
The discussion was deep and passionate, with a lot of good ideas and suggestions. I honestly feel there’s a lot of great opportunity to educate youth and adults, and to open everyone’s eyes to what’s really going on.
Prescription drug abuse and heroin use is a problem — it’s real, and we have to address this as a community.