The five scenes enacted by Mason County High School students during Drug House Odyssey depict the consequences of one bad decision.
While the story told by the Drug House Odyssey brings many to the verge of tears, it was the couple standing at the end that could most effectively show people the effects of drug abuse.
Kent and Connie Marinaro recently lost their son, Kyle Marinaro to a suspected drug overdose.
"We felt like it would make a big impact to be here and let parents and kids know it can happen to anybody," Kent Marinaro said.
Connie Marinaro said her son was not what many think of as the typical drug user. Kyle Marinaro was a 2007 graduate of Mason County High School. While in high school, he was an honor roll student, involved in athletics and other organizations, even participating in the Drug House Odyssey a couple times. When he died, Marinaro was on the pre-med track as a junior at Northern Kentucky University.
"I'm not sure that our son realized all the dangers of what he was doing," Connie Marinaro said.
Kyle Marinaro's parents said they were not aware their son was abusing drugs until his death. While he was in high school, Connie Marinaro said they learned all they could about identifying drug abuse. After graduation, Connie Marinaro said she felt safe knowing her children had navigated high school without doing drugs. Her son's death was a testament that drugs can affect anyone, anytime.
"You're never safe from drugs," she said.
Connie and Kent Marinaro manned a table at the end of the Drug House Odyssey where they handed out bracelets that said "stay safe, stay sober." Pamphlets were available on the dangers of prescription and other drug abuse.
The first scene of this year's Drug House Odyssey showed students preparing for the event. Two students discussed bringing drugs to the Drug House Odyssey, since they were in the party scene anyway, just to make the event more fun.
The second scene was a rehearsal for the party scene. It showed how those students were to encourage another student to take pills and her passing out.
The third scene was the party scene. Instead of handing the other student fake pills, one student asked the other for pills. He gave her the wrong ones. In the scene, instead of pretending to pass out, the girl was to actually pass out. In the next scene, the girl's mother was informed that, despite all medical personnel could do, her daughter had died.
In the final scene, a memorial to the girl who had died, students mourn the loss of their classmate, who died because of someone else's mistake.
Mariah Scilley and Mackenzie King, both sophomores, acted as guides through the Drug House Odyssey. They said they wanted to be involved as a way to make more people aware of the consequences of drug use.
"It's a good way to get the message out," King said.
Those who walked through the Drug House Odyssey at Maysville Community and Technical College Wednesday night agreed.
Pam Ballard took her daughters, Hannah, Sarah and Emily Ballard, with their friends Cheyenne Dimarcantonio and Kate Clarke, through the Drug House Odyssey.
"I'm hoping they see what it can do to you," she said of why she brought the five girls to the event.
Emily Ballard, a sophomore at MCHS, said the message she will walk away with is that something like what was depicted in the Drug House Odyssey can happen to anyone.
"It showed it really does happen," she said. "I think it's going to touch a lot of people."
Contact Misty Maynard at email@example.com or call 606-564-9091, ext. 272.
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