I grew up with my best friend, she was just like a sister to me. She was a little older than me. I looked up to her. If ever I had a problem, she was always close enough to help me out. She had a grand personality and a good outlook on life. My most treasured memories, are the ones of her and I together.

It wasn't until the spring of '87' that I noticed a change in her. She was quick to anger, and her attitude was poor. This was not like her at all. I asked her many times what was wrong. Her response each time was, "I'm fine".

As time went on, she became more bitter, and became a person I did not know anymore. All I wanted was to help her. Every time I tried, she would get defensive, and say she was fine.

I felt so helpless, so alone, I was losing her and I didn't know why. This seemed to be a question, I would not get an answer to.

The summer of '88', I finally got my answer. My sister had changed do to the effects of drugs. My mother tearfully put her arms around me, and told me my best friend had died do to an over-dose. Well, for a minute my world stood still, along with my heart. There was nothing to say or do, just tears among the silence.

Yes my sister was a good kid, a good kid that made a mistake. I spent that whole summer trying to figure out why I didn't pick up on what was going on. Thinking over and over again, if only I had taken the time to notice the signs. Maybe I could have saved her.

My mother, seeing my distress sat me down, and told me this.

Some things are not in our control. Sometimes 'signs' aren't enough. You can't blame yourself for the path your friend chose. What you can do is learn from her mistake, volunteer at school for drug-prevention, let other children know what happened to your friend, and how it made you feel. It makes sense doesn't it? Prevention with education.

She's right, it does make sense. Since then I've never once blamed myself for her death. Instead I volunteer my time to SADD and DARE. Each year, at an assembly I tell new students what happened and the danger of drugs. Making sense with, 'Prevention with Education'.

Copyright © Melissa Knapp --- Pennsylvania