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Former addict shares recovery journey as community leaders fight to spread drug trends and prevention

Teachers, parents, and students are concerned about drugs in schools. They're fighting against the usage by spreading awareness during town halls.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Parents, students, and teachers are alarmed by recent drug trends and they're trying to get ahead of the problem by hosting town halls. 

Community leaders are spreading awareness with presentations at high schools. Since kids often get exposed to drugs at a young age. 

Cameron Lawson with Greater Piedmont Adult & Teen Challenge says he was first exposed to drugs in eighth grade. 

Lawson says he grew up in a broken home raised by his mother and grandmother, he has never met his father. 

He says he tried to fill the void by turning to alcohol, weed, and pills. 

One thing led to another, Lawson says he started selling drugs, got arrested, and even overdosed. 

His near-death experience and faith made him want to change, so he attended Greater Piedmont & Teen Challenge where he learned to overcome his addiction. 

"Ultimately what would have helped me when I was young was actually dealing with my issues instead of burying them because that issue is always going to be there. Even when you go and use your drugs to not feel those issues, once the drugs wear off you're going to have to deal with those issues and deal with even more that are attached to it," said Lawson. 

Lawson now teaches the same program he attended teaching men of all ages how to overcome their addiction. 

Experts say the kinds of drugs and the severity of drug use in teens in spiking.

The Kennin Foundation is sponsoring Monday night's town hall. 

Kelly Graves with the foundation explained what the foundation hopes to accomplish. 

"To help teens and families grow healthy habits that allow them to grow safe and well and allow them to continue on through their adolescent period and beyond without the need to lean on those substances. The other is to raise awareness of the significant impact drug use can have on the lives of families and unfortunately with the change of how drugs are accessed and formulated the consequences can be even more significant," said Graves.

Several people including the Guilford County emergency services director and a young adult in recovery spoke at the town hall. 

The first talk took place at Northern Guilford High School.

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