A recovering meth addict shared with Guntersville students her experiences of crime, jail, and rehab.
Local law enforcement says it helps for kids to hear from someone closer to their age, and 22-year-old Rachel Lane said it helps with her ongoing recovery.
“I have been clean 21 months,” she said.
“Great feeling. Never thought I’d be able to say it, that’s for sure.”
She told the teens she developed addictions as a high school student, and her substance abuse problems led to stealing, health issues, and car wrecks.
Police even came to her home and arrested someone who was staying with her, charging that man with a drug-related homicide.
She gave assistant district attorney Mitch Floyd some of the credit for turning her life around.
He said he once thought she was a lost cause.
“I could talk about it all day, but she is close to their age, she looks like them and she has dealt with a lot of the same things that they have, so they relate to her much better,” Floyd said.
Compared to many of the images used to show what meth use does to the body, Lane looks completely normal, but she said meth use caused significant weight loss.
When she was almost 20 years old, she only weighed about 82 pounds.
“She doesn’t look like she’s been on drugs before. She looks innocent. She’s a very pretty girl,” students said.
That is part of the message. This could happen to anyone, if they make poor decisions.
“Every morning I wake up and I have two choices, I can do the right thing or the wrong thing,” Lane said.
She chooses to talk to teens.
“This helps me relive my past and make sure that every day I don’t want to do that again.”
Lane said she planned on going to nursing school before drugs took over.
She intends to continue to share her message, and hopes to someday become a counselor for people with substance abuse problems.
Guntersville twelfth graders were reminded of the dangers of another drug at a separate event Tuesday.
Circuit Judge Tim Jolley presided over a mock trial for a reckless murder case involving a drunk driver.
The seniors served as prosecutors, defense attorneys, and jury, as witnesses including a Guntersville Police traffic homicide investigator provided testimony.
The evidence came from an actual drunk driving case prosecuted by a Marshall County district attorney in another county.
“We’re using this fact scenario mainly because of the importance of not drunk driving, especially during this time of year, prom season, and being safe,” assistant district attorney Chris Abel said.
“Don’t drink, don’t be stupid, don’t do things of that nature.”
The participating students prepared for the case as part of their government class.
“To have hands on experience with what trials are like, what the judicial process is like. Learning something helping that’s practical as well as getting the point across, to be safe,” Abel said.
The students also learned about a hung jury.
In the first of the day’s two scheduled trials, a single juror disagreed with the guilty verdict reached by the rest of the jury, which resulted in a mistrial.
If you see meth, stop meth.
Call the See Meth, Stop Meth tip line at 1-866-303-METH.
See Meth, Stop Meth is in conjunction with the Kids to Love Foundation.