Anoka County law enforcement told FOX 9 News heroin use is "coming back with a vengeance," but a group of parents St. Francis are doing everything they can to make sure no more young lives are ruined by drugs.
"It puts a lot of strain on a family when there's an addict in the family. You don't want to lose them. They don't want to get help. It's hard," Shelly, a mom from St. Francis said.
Shelly, who asked FOX 9 to withhold her last name, has seen first-hand the devastating consequences of a heroin addiction.
"I just want people to know that it can happen to everybody, anybody out there. My son was not a bad kid. He still is not a bad kid. He made bad choices," she said.
Her 19-year old son, a recent St. Francis high school graduate, had to undergo inpatient treatment for his heroin use. After getting out, Shelly watched him relapse.
"I was fortunate my child didn't overdose. We caught him in time -- not to say it can't happen. Once you're an addict, you're always an addict," she said.
Over the last week, Shelly and a group of parents in her community said enough is enough and they rallied together launching a community drug awareness Facebook page where people can hold honest and open dialogue about the issue. They also went before the school board Monday night asking for help.
The group would like to hold a forum next month in the high school performing arts center to bring attention to the seemingly hidden world of heroin that they say is ruining lives of good kids from good homes.
Sheri Shmaus just lost her son Jake, class of 2010, in May to a heroin overdose. She's 100 percent behind the movement, as is St. Francis Superintendent Edward Saxton.
"I don't think it's limited to where you live geographically. I think it's a societal deal that crosses all avenues. The fact that parents lined up to help is a huge positive," Saxton said.
The St. Francis Community for Drug Awareness will host its first forum on Thursday, Nov. 21 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center.
Event details: https://www.facebook.com/events/398860623574190/?notif_t=plan_user_invited
St. Francis Community Drug Awareness: https://www.facebook.com/SFCommunityDrugAwareness