Honors English students from Catholic Central High School in Troy offered the following thoughts on a recent school assembly:

•  "On Oct. 16, two detectives from the Albany Police Department came and spoke to the sophomore and junior classes. They educated us on many illegal drugs: how they work, how people obtain them and how to avoid using and ultimately becoming addicted to them. Just having taken the PSATS, we were tired and didn't think we would be able to focus on a presentation. However, these two men made their speech very interesting. They talked to us about how many high school students, especially in private high schools, think it is nearly impossible to become addicted to an illegal drug such as heroin or cocaine, when in reality it could happen to anyone. The stories they told really reinforced their message. These included families being torn apart, athletic careers being ruined and education being nearly impossible. The detectives educated us in many ways about the risks and dangers of drugs, which continue to be a growing problem in our nation." - Dominique Stavis

•  "The officers presented a slide show with information about the dangers of recreational drugs, including heroin, oxycodone, marijuana, ecstasy, meth and others. They told stories about the horrible outcomes of drug addiction that they encounter in their daily work, of dark and destructive paths taken by drug users, including a local college student becoming a prostitute to feed her drug habit and a man ruining his own child's Christmas for a daily fix. A junior at CCHS, John Golden, stated, 'I thought the addiction part was the scariest: how easy it is to get addicted.'" - Sarah Burdge

•  "The cops also talked about withdrawal symptoms. Heroin, a highly-addictive drug, had some of the worst withdrawal symptoms. The cops stated that the symptoms 'left victims lying on the floor in their own vomit.' This seminar was both informative and scary, leaving students with an image that would make them think twice and say no." - Melissa Barber