This will be a break from the norm here at USA TODAY High School Sports.
We don’t often just simply direct you to read something elsewhere, but we urge high school athletes, coaches, athletic directors and parents of high schoolers to watch this video and read this story from The Richmond Times-Dispatch.
The piece, written by Eric Kolenich, chronicles the journey of Andrew Nelson, a former soccer player at High who became addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Andrew was 12 the first time he tasted beer from his parents’ refrigerator. Soon after, he was smoking marijuana. When the high no longer was high enough, he discovered prescription painkillers. He was in the ninth grade. “I was just high all the time,” he said.