School installs mural honoring classmate

ALDEN, N.Y. (WIVB) – Alden High School is making an artistic statement against prescription drug abuse.

The school teamed up with local artist Max Collins to install a mural honoring a classmate who died from drug abuse. Cory Bea died last year from prescription painkiller addiction.

Fifteen students from the art department and the group Students Against Destructive Decisions worked on Thursday to place a mural on the wall of the school cafeteria that includes Bea’s picture as part of the “Painkillers Kill” campaign.

Avi Israel, who lost his son Michael to painkiller addiction, said, “What we want to do is really put a face on the statistics. Cory was a young man that got injured in a car accident and was prescribed into addiction by a doctor. The more of these that we’re going to get up, the more that people will know that painkillers kill more than just pain.”

Painkiller addiction is a growing epidemic nationwide, and school leaders want to make sure students know about the dangers.

The mural is being paid for by a grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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