Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pontiac Students Showcase Growth of P2D2 Program

PEORIA - When the P2D2 prescription pill and drug disposal program started four years ago at Pontiac High School, few people could have foreseen its incredible growth into a national movement.

"We have Alaska. Hawaii is joining in and we have a couple other states, but it's grown pretty fast," says Pontiac senior Bethany Guelde. "It's pretty exciting."

As part of Peoria's Clean Water Celebration, students are continuing to help the growth of the P2D2 program by educating area students about the dangers of prescription medicine and our drinking water.

"Mostly just to get the word out so the kids can start their own program, if they like," says Pontiac senior Amber Brunskill. "Maybe make good decisions themselves."

The unique part of P2D2 is that the students are the ones who continually take the lead to move the program forward. Some students are even looking to take that sense of responsibility beyond high school.

"I've already talked to the college I'm going to in Michigan. I'm going to start a program up there because it has not yet been introduced into the community," Guelde says.

Students say the program is essential because even though two-thirds of the world lacks clean drinking water, we often take it for granted.

"It's just not something that goes through most people's minds, so when we say this is a huge deal and something needs to be done about it, most people are shocked by that," says Pontiac sophomore Charles Spencer.

But the dedication of these motivated students all but guarantees P2D2's success for years to come.

"I've learned so much and I love the program that I wish I wasn't a senior now and could keep going," says Brunskill.

In four years, P2D2 has expanded into 16 states, disposing over 135,000 pounds of medication and other drugs.

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