At The Center Of The Opioid Crisis, A West Virginia Camp Offers Kids A 'Safe Place' | NBC News

Channel: NBC News
Published: 12/24/2019

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Camp Mariposa in Princeton, West Virginia, is one of more than a dozen free camps around the country focused on kids who have a family member with a substance abuse disorder. » Subscribe to NBC News: http://nbcnews.to/SubscribeToNBC » Watch more NBC video: http://bit.ly/MoreNBCNews NBC News Dig...



Transcript
Djay you want to read it or you want me to me. Okay, dj and his letter says addiction. I hate it and i wish nobody did it elijah's next. Dear addiction, addiction is bad for you zoe, dear addiction. My mom is smoking and drinking she's drinking beer, and that makes me upset [ music ]. Well, when she she has a needle problem and my dad he did like needles. So he just did please yeah. He did other d ...
ugs, like that witnessing my mom have a drug overdose um. If it affected me in many ways, i can't barely sleep, because where i happened that night it affects my night time now. I have to stay off and liketry to knock out everything in my mind. They come from all over west virginia to camp mariposa, children and teens, getting a chance away from home and the trauma of growing up with parents who are abusing drugs and alcohol. Thirteen year old carletta grew up in a household with both parents addicted to drugs.

After being in foster care for several years, she was adopted by her foster family earlier this year, when my mom was on drugs like she would pass out, and i would have to be the mom of my siblings, my stepdad. Whenever he was on alcohol, he really get very abusive with my mom and i would always make sure my siblings werein a safe place. Before i was in a safe place. We have kids who have lost parents to overdoses, we have kids whose parents are incarcerated. We have kids whose parents have just walked away and we have some kids whose parents are in recovery. You know in rehab the goal is to target kids of the opioid crisis before they become teenagers, we're never gon na fix the opiate or any kind of addiction. If we don't do it with the children, we have to impact that age group. You know and let them know you know you don't have to go down that road. Even if you're hurting that's not the way you have to go. The weekendcamp is packed with breathing exercises that help them relax and educational sessions that help them identify signs of suicide. Do you think seriously about killing yourself? Yes, ma'am number five. Have you tried to kill yourself in the last year? Yes or no all right is everybody answered that one.

I want you to list somebody that you can talk to about your problems. Who can you talk to about your problems in school? This weekend we dealt with the signs of suicide, sometimes kids, especially the age group, that we work with it's ages, 9 to 12. They don't recognize the signs of depression and then it can get to the point where they're thinking about suicide sothis weekend we did the program and we help them recognize. The weekend camp runs six times a year in 13 locations across the country. Three new locations will be added next year to meet the increasing demand. As a camp tradition, campers write letters to express their feelings about addiction and burn them in a fire, but tonight many find it hard to muster the words and let leah read their letters for them. Instead, dear addiction, i hate you so much. You have hurt me by hurting my family. I just lost someone about four days ago my uncle aj just died and his funeral is today. I didn't want to go because i wanted to come tocamp, because camp is like my safe place. The camp says: 95 % of campers have never used a substance to get high, and up to 99 percent have steered clear from the juvenile justice system. I found out by the camp that it's not my fault.

It never was my fault that they done it. Sometimes they'll ask to go home with you. They always want to know when campus again and worry about every one of them you know, and but they they struggle. [ music, ], hey nbc news fans, thanks for checking out our youtube channel subscribe by clicking on that button down here and click on any of the videos over here to watch the latest interviews, showhighlights and digital exclusives. Thanks for watching.


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