ST. AMANT, LA (WAFB) - A local rapper is using music to spread his message about the dangers of synthetic marijuana. On Tuesday, Love-N-Pain performed before students at St. Amant High School.
Ivan Toldson, also known as, Love-N-Pain took center stage for a special assembly.
Toldson, a recovering drug addict turned substance abuse counselor, uses hip hop music to deliver his message that synthetic marijuana also known as Mojo is poison.
"My addiction let me to stealing from my own mom. I took credit cards, dug in my mom's purse, took jewelry, anything you got, whatever I needed to get my money and flip it so I could go get more," Toldson said.
The students were hooked on his presentation. Toldson encouraged them to think before making decisions that could impact their lives.
"I lived enough to know that life is real and everybody don't make it back. So, for to say you are not going to go down that path, you don't know what you're going to do," Toldson said.
Toldson works with Capital Area Services to help support people who struggle with addiction.
Peer Support Specialist, Tonja Myles researches trends and uses them as a strategy to communicate with teens.
"We knew we had to be raw and real with them," Myles said.
The rapper brought the students out of their seats, and before they knew it they were part of the message.
Bringing a live rapper into the school is typically not what some would expect from a high school principal, but St. Amant High School Principal Mia Edwards said she would do it again.
"I believe the more information we can give them about the adverse affects of this the better they'll be, and any access to things to inform about this I want in my school," Edwards said.
Toldson said talking to students is the easy part. Getting them to carry his message is the real challenge.
"I think you can inspire a change for a day or even a week. When they are in their seats they are inspired, but to keep them inspired that's why we need mentors and programs for, to walk with the kids," Toldson said.