From Pills to Heroin- A HOPE Club documentary

Students gathered in a classroom on Raritan Valley Campus on October 24th to watch the documentary From Pills to Heroin, a movie about the effects and stories of ex-addicts and their families, to support the HOPE club and educate themselves about the dangers of drug abuse.

"I want students to walk away with the knowledge and confidence to act on these issues," explains HOPE Club president Tommy Boon.

The thirteen-minute movie was made of several clips, of former addicts and previous HOPE presidents, recorded by and with people living in Hunterdon county.

"I love doing this," Thomas says "I got involved in the club by a fair that was held near me and I went from being a member to the current president."

The HOPE club is sponsored in part by SAFE coalition, known as a drug abuse prevention and education program in Hunterdon and Somerset. Their advisor Ann Smolinsky works as a Health Educator at the Raritan Valley Community College.

"Addiction is a health issue." Ann says "We want to break the stereotype that addicts are homeless on the streets- that they are people within our own community that we know and love."

The SAFE coalition's mission is that through wide spread community collaboration, environmental change, and community education in Hunterdon and Somerset counties, we will address areas of concern. This is including, but not limited to, reducing prescription drug abuse across the lifespan, underage drinking, tobacco, marijuana, and other drug use.

 "This movie has been shown across the county and in fact internationally" Ann adds "it is really making a difference both here in Hunterdon and in the communities across the world."

Hunterdon county has been hit hard this year with overdoses. Around 40 reported overdoses, resulting in 15 deaths, as compared to 45 reported overdoses resulting in 15 deaths in all of 2016.

Over the next semester the HOPE club will hold more educational seminars and Narcan training to RVCC students, to hopefully prevent more deaths in the community. Come see what the club is all about and help fight the cause!

Edited by Jordan Brozas

Siobhan Donaldson