Stephens freshman Peggy Terzopoulos knows firsthand how it feels to see friends and family members suffer from drug addiction.
The Columbia native lost a good friend in December after he used heroine following a year of sobriety. She has a family member in recovery.
“It can happen to anybody,” Terzopoulos said.
She is determined to bring awareness to the country’s drug problem. She’s researched the statistics both nationally and locally and said the numbers would shock most people. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, for instance, estimates some 23.5 million people 12 or older needed treatment for drug or alcohol abuse in 2009—more than half of which were for illicit drugs.
To spread the word, Terzopoulos organized a Drug Abuse Awareness Week on campus.
On Monday, she and members of her sorority, Tri Sigma, will man booths in Stamper Commons encouraging students to write encouraging notes to women currently undergoing treatment.
Then on Tuesday, the campus community is invited to a public presentation. Mike Weiland, co-director of The Crossroads Program, a treatment center, will share his story of recovery. Weiland’s talk is at 6 p.m. in Historic Senior Hall Recital Hall. Those attending will receive a coupon to G & D Pizzeria allowing them to donate a portion of meal costs on Wednesday to Crossroads.
On Thursday, she and sorority sisters will head downtown to spread the word and raise money for Crossroads.
Once the week is up, Terzopoulos hopes to continue to spread awareness about the dangers of drug use and the struggles of addiction.
“My life has been based around this,” she said. “I’m just passionate about getting the word out there.”
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