Moody County Company | School resource officer launches new drug awareness program

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Drug education programs in our schools have been around for as long as many of us can remember. Few, however, resemble the one about to launch at Flandreau.
Beginning in the second semester, School Resource Officer Deputy Gabriel Frias will launch what is called The Truth About Drugs – a six- to nine-week program that not only talks about the current state of affairs in about drugs and the dangers of those drugs, but it also gets incredibly personal about how destructive, even deadly, any drug use can be.
“The program is in-depth and specific about drugs and what they do to people,” Deputy Frias said. “There is no beating around the bush. The program includes people recording clips of their friends. There are testimonials, and these people talk about drugs, what they have done with their lives and what they have destroyed in their lives… nothing is hidden. Our children can see that this is no joke.
That’s the goal of this program, Frias said. To show them the reality of a specific use. “Kids respond to honesty and if I can show them the honest truth about drugs, hopefully that will prevent drug use.”
Maybe it can’t start soon enough.
Over the past month, the Drug Enforcement Administration has reported “an alarming emerging trend of colored fentanyl available in the United States.” What is commonly referred to as “rainbow fentanyl” is increasingly targeting children and young people.
“Rainbow fentanyl – fentanyl pills and powder available in a variety of bright colors, shapes and sizes – is a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to create addiction in children and young adults. “, said Anne Milgram, administrator of the DEA, in a press release.
The drug comes in pill, powder, and block form that looks like sidewalk chalk. Fentanyl, for those unfamiliar, is a synthetic opioid believed to be 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Just two milligrams of the drug, which is equivalent to 10 to 15 grains of table salt, is considered a lethal dose. By the way, if you come across fentanyl in any form, you shouldn’t handle it. Instead, call 911 immediately.
There is, however, hope that drug education programs like this could work.
A new study published in September actually shows that substance abuse among American teens is decreasing. Researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health said the only exceptions they found in the 28-year-old’s assessment were an increase in cannabis use and vaping.
High levels of free social time, especially with low engagement in structured activities or low supervision, were linked to any substance use.
Flandreau’s new drug education program will begin with 7th graders and transition to the 8th grade student population later in the semester. Frias said he knows he won’t reach everyone and it’s a pretty crude program, but if he can stop even a few students from getting into drugs or help a student better cope with a family member dealing with an addiction, he has done his job. .
“We need to start educating them now. Some of these children have already had an overdose of family members, or they see it among their friends and family. This program is why people keep doing it,” Frias said. He added that oftentimes drug use by a family member often breaks up a family. “It’s something that’s generational, addiction knows no race or gender. I think if I can help students break that cycle, it will change our community.”
The Truth About Drugs is a decades-old program. Program information and resources are available at https://www.drugfreeworld.org. Additional resources for parents and the community on fentanyl and the latest concerns and warnings can be found on the DEA’s Fentanyl Awareness page.

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