High school senior hosts town hall on heroin epidemic

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Cherokee County, GA (WGCL) — A local high school student knows firsthand what it’s like to live with a drug addict so now she’s sharing her story in hopes of saving a life.

Eighteen year-old Delana Crook is wise beyond her years. After school she has been preparing for a senior project which is close to her heart.

“It’s to raise awareness on the heroin epidemic that’s going around,” Crook said. “It really is focusing on how it starts with prescription abuse and leads into drug addiction.”

Crook is organizing a town hall meeting to be held at the Etowah High School auditorium this week, inspired by her brother Jay.

“I mean it’s an everyday choice for my brother to not do drugs,” Crook said.

On May 28, 2015 Jay Crook overdosed on heroin and nearly died. Delana helped save his life.

“I just know I would never want anyone else to go through what I went through and the thought every day of going to bed and waking up and wondering if your brother is alive or not because he wouldn’t show up for days, it’s sickening,” Crook said.

Crook teamed up with Michelle Neese and the Keely Foundation to educate the community at the town hall about the dangers of heroin. Neese lost her son Keely to an overdose and hopes to prevent another tragedy.

“I did learn from my son this is a disease that as much as they want to stop they can’t,” Neese said.

Incredibly, Jay Crook has been sober for nearly two years and Delana hopes his story will inspire others.

“We’re really hoping we can raise money for this awareness so that the Keely Foundation can create a resource center for people who are addicts,” Crook said. “I feel like I can help someone else and help save a life and that’s what the goal is.”

The Town Hall is scheduled for 6:30 pm on Thursday at the Etowah High School Auditorium. Five hundred people are expected to attend including lawmakers, law enforcement and recovering addicts.

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