SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (KTLA) — A local sports star from Simi Valley is in a battle for his life after overdosing on heroin.
Hundreds turned out on Thursday night to show their support at a candlelight vigil for 22-year-old Langston Jackson.
Jackson is currently hospitalized in critical condition.
“He’s doing better. He’s getting better each day, and that’s all we can hope and pray for,” said twin brother Lorne Jackson.
Their mother, Lyle Jackson, says she is still struggling to understand how her popular son could fall prey to the deadly drug.
“Nobody ever things it’s going to happen to them,” she said. “That’s what I can say to everybody — never say never.”
Payt Montoya knows just how hard heroin can hit a family. His 20-year-old son is an addict.
“I fight every day to keep him alive,” Montoya says.
That’s why he has helped start the organization Not One More to help kids overcome the allure of the drug and help the families of victims deal with its horrifying effects.
“We’re watching young children die. We’re watching young children, kids be addicted out here,” Montoya said.
Mike Rogers, who is a former user and a close friend of Langston, showed up on Thursday to encourage the crowd.
He has been sober for three years now and knows first hand why the drug has gained such popularity in Simi Valley and suburbs just like it.
“Peer pressure,” he said. “Friends were doing it, I felt like I could do it, you know. We’re young.”
But Rogers also says that parents can win in the fight against drugs if they take these brave steps.
“Talk to their kids, ask them questions, don’t be afraid to ask those tough questions like who are you hanging out with, what are you guys doing?”