NMU teen gets recognition for her fight against Drugs
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LNA, October 31, 2014

Nikkie Duran, a 19-year-old Volcano Vista High School graduate who is now a sophomore marketing student at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, lost her brother Michael in 2011 to a heroin overdose.

Lost her brother to drug overdose

To deal with her guilt about losing him, she has been doing anti-drug abuse speeches at schools around the state, including her own high school.

For her service, Duran is among nine individuals and organizations being honored Wednesday by the New Mexico chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals at the National Philanthropy Day Luncheon, to be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel & Spa.

Talking openly about losing her brother has been therapeutic for Duran. Her brother Michael Duran was 19 at the time he died.

Several years earlier, he had suffered a sports injury for which he was prescribed painkillers. He got the prescription refilled without their parents’ knowledge and was soon addicted.

Then he graduated to heroin, using it in the family home, where his body was found on a cold February day.

During his addiction, Nikkie Duran said, she had an attitude toward him that she now wishes she could change: “I was like, ‘Whatever. You’re going to do what you’re going to do,’” she said, admitting she still feels guilty about the weeks that would go by with the two of them not speaking.

Eventually, he sought treatment and had “the support of my grandparents and parents, but what if he needed that extra ‘Umph’?” she still wonders. “That could have com… MORE

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