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HARTZLER REPORT: Fight for a Drug Free Missouri

April 6, 2018

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my enewsletter. It has been a busy week — I visited seven schools across the district to speak to students about being drug-free!


I kicked off my Drug Free Missouri tour at Warsaw Middle and High School on Tuesday morning.


As part of my Drug Free Missouri Initiative, I hosted “Drug Free Missouri” assemblies at schools in Clinton, Skyline, Hermitage, Boonville, Warsaw, and Tipton. In these programs, I spoke alongside Captain Kip Bartlett of the Mid-MO Drug Task Force, motivational speaker Tom Krause, and Julie Oziah-Gideon, who lost her 20-year old daughter, a former student at Kickapoo High School in Springfield, to drug overdose.


On Tuesday afternoon, I held another Drug Free Missouri assembly at the Hermitage-Hickory Middle & High School to motivate the students there to #ChooseToBeDrugFree.


I finished Tuesday’s Drug Free Missouri tour at Skyline High School.


My goal with these assemblies is to challenge students to be the generation that chooses to live drug free. Missouri had 908 opioid and heroin related overdose deaths in 2016. An estimated 235,000 Missourians misused prescription drugs in the past year. As a former teacher who was also a co-director of a program for at-risk teens, I have seen the devastation drugs can cause in the lives of our youth, their families, and our communities. Also, as the Representative of this district, I have heard from employers who cannot find workers who can pass a drug test, recruiters who struggle to find qualified candidates to enter our military, and parents who have lost their children to drug overdose.


On Wednesday, I started the day by visiting Tipton High School for another #DrugFreeMO assembly.


The plain truth is that this is a self-made crisis. But the good news is we have the power to stop it. It starts with us – in our cities and towns.


On Wednesday afternoon, Boonville High School hosted our fourth Drug Free Missouri Assembly.


Belton School District for instance, is being proactive in confronting this issue. It randomly drug tests athletes and students who drive to school and regularly invites canine units to sniff for drugs.


I had the honor to present Belton School District my first ever “Champion for Drug-Free Missouri” award on Thursday as part of my Drug Free Missouri initiative. They have gone above and beyond in their efforts to #BeTheChange and #ChooseToBeDrugFree.


Additionally, Belton focuses on recovery and healing by providing free counseling to students struggling with addiction. I am proud of Belton School District for its efforts and was happy to give it the “Champion for Drug-Free Missouri Award” on Thursday.



Late Thursday afternoon, I hosted the week’s last #DrugFreeMO at Clinton High School. Many thanks to all the schools for letting us come and speak to their students. We can all #BeTheChange necessary to end the drug crisis and #ChooseToBeDrugFree.


I believe our young people hold the key to a brighter future. I have faith they will rise to the challenge and am so encouraged by their positive response to our message this week.


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