Group Wants Drug Education Posted On Billboards - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

02/20/04

Group Wants Drug Education Posted On Billboards

Drug use kills.That's the message one group wants to get across to the entire community through billboards.

Angie Johnson, along with students and faculty members of Long Beach High School, came together to discuss ideas that might help people stop and think.

"Long Beach fighting back is the slogan and the message is we're tired of drugs, we're tired of deaths, and we're trying to clean up," said Johnson.

This message hits close to home for Ms. Johnson. She lost her 19-year-old son Derrick to a drug overdose in August of last year, which further sparked her interest in helping save her community.

"The substance abuse task force, which has been in effect for two years in Long Beach, we were wanting ways to project a message. And I guess after Derrick died, really the idea to be more vocal I guess, as a mother who has lost a child, is what I'm wanting to do and the billboards are that big vocal message for me," said Johnson.

She believes even if people don't hear the message, they will definitely be able to see it.

And a few Long Beach students are already getting the message loud and clear.

They have sketched numerous ideas to be posted on at least five billboards.

"Many of us knew Derrick or some of the others that have died this last year because of drug use and I think it's really important for those of us who don't do drugs to help our friends who might be in trouble," said LBHS student Kristin Hamilton.

Honoring the memory of those lost, by helping to save the future.

The billboards should be up by the end of March.

The money to pay for them are from the Derrick Johnson Fund, which was established by his family after his death.

If you want to help out, send donations to: 

The Derrick Johnson Fund
P.O. Box 555
Long Beach, MS 39560

By Karla Redditte

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