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Sobering stories of drug addiction in West Virginia

In our NewsHour Shares video of the day, high schoolers from one of our Student Reporting Labs attended a community forum in West Virginia on drug addiction. They share some personal stories from community members on how addiction has affected their lives.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Finally, to our NewsHour Shares.

    Today's, it one of our online videos. And it's about the personal testimonies of drug addiction and its impact in West Virginia. As we heard earlier, President Obama traveled to that state today, where he took part in a community forum on those very problems. High schoolers from our Student Reporting Lab in Richwood, West Virginia, attended the event. They interviewed members of the community affected by all this.

    Here's an excerpt.

  • DARLENE CLUTTER, Librarian:

    I have got a sister that died a few months ago that was just a few years younger than me because she became addicted to medications that the doctors had prescribed to her.

  • LAKIN CLARK, Recovering Addict:

    I started using drugs when I was like 12, probably smoking weed, just — probably just to fit in. AMY PODDEY, Recovering Addict: I got arrested on two felony delivery charges.

  • DENISE HUGHES, Recovering Addict:

    I got arrested on two felony delivery charges, and as part of my bond stipulation, I had to go to DRC. I have been in there 13 months.

  • LAKIN CLARK:

    And I just didn't — I didn't know how to live without drugs. It was how I felt I had to have them to get up in the morning. I had to have them to do anything. I had to have them to live.

  • AMY PODDEY:

    When it is happening, you don't really realize that the drugs are taking over your body and your mind. You think that everything is still OK. DENISE HUGHES: I have tried — I mean, I have tried a lot. I have not done heroin, but have I done my share. And it's not something I'm proud of. It's wrecked my life.

  • AMY PODDEY:

    I have two children. I have a 10-year-old and a 13-year-old. And for those two years, I didn't wake up thinking, I got to get my kids up for school or I got to do this. I woke up thinking, how am I going to get high today?

  • LAKIN CLARK:

    What I learned today is addiction is a disease, and it kills people. It really does.

  • AMY PODDEY:

    My little boy, one day, we were at GoMart. He said, "Mom, will you me a chocolate milk?" And I said, "I don't have enough money to." But I had 50 bucks in my pocket and I went and bought a pill with it.

  • LAKIN CLARK:

    I never had much to do with my son. I would take him to my mom's house and I would leave him there for days at a time, sometimes weeks.

  • DARLENE CLUTTER:

    So, for me, you know, it was just — it is heart-wrenching, because I have seen so many people that I absolutely just love have their lives ruined because of it.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    It's very hard to watch.

    And you can find more videos from our Student Reporting Labs at studentreportinglabs.com.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    On the NewsHour online right now: Global warming might tighten your wallet no matter where you live. That's according to a new study from Stanford University that pinpoints the optimal annual temperature for economic productivity. What happens when temperatures rise? Find out on our Web site, PBS.org/NewsHour.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    And that's the NewsHour for tonight. I'm Judy Woodruff. GWEN IFILL: And I'm Gwen Ifill.

    Join us online and again here tomorrow evening. For all of us here at the "PBS NewsHour," thank you, and good night.

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