Authorities say heroin is a fast growing problem right
here in central Wisconsin.
Nineteen year old Ashley Matteson started using drugs
when she was 14.
"It was, I would say, a good combination of peer pressure
and just curiosity, experimentation," said Matteson.
Alcohol and marijuana use eventually led her to heroin
when she was only 17.
"After I got comfortable with the fact that I was
actually shooting up, after it didn't bother me anymore, and I actually wanted
to shoot up everything multiple times a day. That's when I knew it was time to
get treatment," said Matteson.
Matteson has been sober for nearly a year. She's sharing
her experience as part of an event to educate people about the dangers of
heroin and prescription drug abuse. It's sponsored by the Marshfield Area
Coalition for Youth.
"As crazy as we all might want to think that is, it
happens every single day, and if we don't do something about it and don't make
it okay, we're going to be a part of the problem, not a part of the solution,"
said Jesse Jackson, Marshfield Area Coalition for Youth Chair.
Officials say it's hard for parents to believe heroin and
prescription drugs are a problem in Marshfield.
According to a youth risk behavior survey, almost 6
percent of Marshfield High School students have misused painkillers in the last
month, and nearly 3 percent have used heroin.
Matteson know what those students are going through. She
hopes that by overcoming her addiction, she can help others do the same.
"Getting people the information that they need, it could
save lives. I mean, addiction is a disease, and it could ruin someone's life
very quickly, and I think that getting my story out there could hopefully help