CVS Pharmacy is partnering with schools in Detroit to raise awareness on prescription drug abuse. “One choice changes everything” is a presentation with pharmacists who talk about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs and how popular it has become due to hip-hop trends.

In a letter to district personnel, Prasanna Angle, a CVS store operations and pharmacy supervisor, wrote, “Prescription drug abuse is considered a national epidemic.”

“We would like to partner with all schools in the community to educate our students on the effects that one choice can change their lives forever,” wrote Angle in the letter.

A prescription drug that is abused by many users is codeine. Codeine is the main ingredient of a popular drink known by the street names “purple drank” or “lean.” Due to its popularity in the hip hop world, there are youth who are dying due to the dangers of this drink, according to the CVS presentation.

To educate students on how dangerous this drink is, CVS partnered with Rita Carpenter to tell the story of how her son, Jelani Mcfadden Carpenter, took his own life from drinking Lean. Jelani was a student with many positive attributes, and had a basketball scholarship to every school where he applied.

On New Years Eve, Jelani’s drink was mixed with something that was not acknowledged before he drank it. When the effects kicked in it caused him to hallucinate, and made him take his own life.

Learning about dangers of lean from the presentation helped BCHS junior Elisha Taylor make the decision to never try lean or be surrounded by people that do.

“Hearing Jelani’s mom tell us how her son died was something I would not wish on any mother,” said Taylor.

“Having more events like “One choice changes everything” would really have a positive effect on... students,” said junior Mila Halliburtion, “and hopefully reduce the amount of people who drink lean.”