MARLTON, N.J. (FOX 29) - Cherokee High School unveiled a documentary as part of a drug education program for seniors Wednesday night.
"Still in shock. Honestly you still never feel like it's real,” said Aaron Huffnagle. A raw and emotional documentary of the life and death of a Marlton young man.
Max Huffnagle lost a promising life…to drug addiction…and a deadly overdose when he was 23-years old. Aaron Huffnagle is Max's brother.
"It was sad. It was devastating," he said. The video was shown tonight during parent night at Cherokee High School where they unveiled a program called #NOTEVENONCE. It’s four classes required for seniors at Cherokee High as part of the health curriculum. Max's parents Debbie and Steve Huffnagle were also there.
"They really think Ii can just experiment a little bit then I'll sit it down and walk away from it and everything will be fine. But that isn't what happens," said Steve. They're sharing their loss and breaking the silence about addiction.
"My biggest mistake was not talking about it enough or seeking more help, not being ashamed and not being so private about it," said Debbie.
Two Evesham Police officers who are also school resource officers explained what the program covers.
They say Cherokee High lost 11 students between 1992 and 2017.
“No state, no county, no town's immune from it,” said the officers. Evesham Police Chief Christopher Chew says the first drug is the worse drug.
“In 2017 and 2018 our department investigated 14 fatal overdoses investigations where we lost 14 individuals from our community. One of the individuals was a 15-year old girl," he said.
The Huffnagle's say they live with their son's death every single day.
"You go to a place where you know he loves ice cream and you know you're not getting his. He was my coffee buddy. It's my daily life," said Debbie.
Evesham Police and Lenape Regional School District officials aren't sharing the documentary online. They want the students to see it in class for the first time so they'll have their full attention. There is a trailer you can watch. Evesham police posted it on the department’s Facebook page.