Tyler Campbell lived the dream.
He walked on to the University of Akron's Football Team.
But he didn't live that dream very long.
"We lost our oldest son in July 2011 to an overdose, a accidental drug overdose. And his addiction started with prescription pain medication while playing college sports," said Wayne Campbell, Tyler's father and president of Tyler's Light.
It's people like Tyler's dad who may keep another kid from picking up a dangerous and deadly habit.
The Greater Harrison Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force launched a new program on Thursday morning that aims at keeping kids from making the same mistakes Tyler did. "Project Future: The Right Prescription for West Virginia" promotes drug free lifestyles to school-aged kids.
Officers, educators and parents agree. A story like Tyler's is much more effective than a "Drug Free is the Way to Be" slogan.
"Having another speaker come in than one of us in uniform . It's someone they can maybe relate to and it puts them at ease. It's like you said someone comes in in uniform it can be intimidating. So, we're going to do whatever we have to do to reach them," said Clarksburg Police Chief Marshall Goff.
"People like myself or others, teachers talk to them. If you've never had drugs in your life or never done them, than it's just empty words," said Steve Gibson, assistant principal at Robert C. Byrd High School.
Campbell said hiding it under the rug isn't doing anyone any good.
"Instead of letting things go by, we empower them to stand up and talk. As parents, it's the hardest thing. Don't be embarrassed to talk and get help and say 'hey, my son or daughter, my loved one has an addiction.' It's not a character flaw, it's not any indication of how you raised them," Campbell said.
The Project Future events that have already been scheduled for the area include:
February 21, 2013
9:30 A.M. - Robert C. Byrd High School (11th & 12th grades)
1:30 P.M. - Robert C. Byrd High School (9th & 10th grades)
6:00 p.m. – Community Awareness Meeting (at Robert C. Byrd High School)
February 22, 2013
9:00 A.M. - Bridgeport Middle School (7th & 8th grades)
10:30 A.M. – Washington Irving Middle School (8th grade)
1:45 P.M. – Liberty High School (9th & 10th grades)
March 27, 2013
Calhoun County Middle-High School (7th thru 12th grades) Gilmer County High School (7th thru 12th grades)
April 9, 2013
Cameron High School (7th thru 12th grades)
April 30, 2013
Tucker County High School (9th thru 12th grades)
May 1, 2013
Liberty High School (11th & 12th grades)
Fairmont Senior High School (9th thru 12th grades)
The dates of additional events in Marion, Monongalia, Mineral and Hampshire Counties are in the process of being finalized and will be announced in the near future.