Emery School District holds parent info. meeting
The Emery School District hosted a parent night where four topics involving youth were discussed. Drugs, suicide, bullying and internet safety. The Emery County Sheriff's Office presented first on the different types of drugs which are around today.
Deputy Garrett Conover said drugs are a problem in our county as they are everywhere and he said the sheriff's office does their best to fight it.
One drug especially dangerous that kids are overdosing on is heroin. The problem with heroin is you don't know what you're getting and some batches are more pure than others. Heroin comes in black tar form or a powder. It comes in small balloons. These balloons are cheaper than buying a pill. Oxycodone can go for as much as $20 a pill. The heroin is injected or inhaled. Conover encouraged parents to watch for any type of drug paraphernalia. In a three county area in the last month there were six overdose deaths from heroin. The heroin is brown and has almost no odor. The drug increases the heart rate.
The drug comes mostly from Mexico. The price is about $20 for a balloon. It can be purchased around here or in Salt Lake where the more you buy the better the price gets. Conover said if someone you know is using then get them some help. There is Four Corners Behavioral Health, church groups and others that can help. Heroin is very addictive and dangerous. Only 10 percent of the people who use heroin will ever be able to get off the drug.
Pills are prevalent in the high school. Kids have access to medicine cabinets and they don't care what it is. They will take anything including blood pressure medicine, they trade pills with their friends. Pills are readily available for purchase from one or two to an entire bottle.
Meth is seeing a comeback. It comes in crystal shards and is smoked or the smoke is inhaled. Meth is also injected and meth users will have track lines on their arms and between toes and fingers as well as forearms.
A comment from an audience member was that meth hurts not only those who abuse the drug but those around them. He is currently raising grandchildren because of his daughter's meth addiction. There were more meth labs in the United States, but now most of the meth comes from super labs out of Mexico.
There are small amounts of cocaine around and it is snorted. Meth is cheaper and more potent than cocaine. Crack is still around and it is smoked.
Marijuana is still around and there are small grows here and there, but the large growing operations are down.
Ecstasy comes and goes, but it is still used among high school and college aged kids. The drug is used at the Rave parties and concerts. It is a synthetic drug that overheats the body and heightens the senses. Users will grind their teeth and baby binkies are used to help combat this side effect. The drug makes the user very thirsty.
Conover said you can overdose on any drug.
Spice is also very dangerous. It is a synthetic drug. It doesn't have an odor. It is sold in packages.
A smoke shop was recently busted in St. George for selling spice.
Mushrooms are also around and they are a hallucinogen.
Bath salts are a synthetic drug and can cause severe damage. A Green River boy overdosed on this drug and now has brain damage. This drug is sometimes known as the face eating drug because a man in Florida high on this drug ate the face of another man. The drug is highly dangerous.
Synthetic drugs are on the rise.
Watch for changes of behavior in your children. Parental disapproval of drug use can be a deterrent for some children. If your child's behavior is changing, it may be simple teenager drama, or something more severe like drug use. Be a parent to your children. Set rules and use consequences to teach lessons.
Kids are learning of drugs from the internet, from friends, television and movies. Drug use is sometimes portrayed as being glamorous. But, the kids don't understand the effects, they don't know they can die from just one use of a drug.
If grades start to drop, then step up and find out what's going on. Check on your children. If they say they are going to a friends house, then make sure that's where they are. Follow up on all their stories. Make kids accountable, They need to take the blame and ownership for whatever problems they might have.
Superintendent Kirk Sitterud said for parents to be aware and talk to the kids and ask the tough questions and get into tough discussions with them. If the kids say they are hanging out, then find out what hanging out means and where they are hanging out. Find out who their friends are and get to know them. Sitterud said he has been a foster parent for 25 years with more than 140 children in their care and a lot of these children had parents with drug problems. He is currently raising grandkids, too because of parents involved with drugs. "Don't be afraid to be involved," said Sitterud.
Deputy Shaun Bell said between sixth and seventh grades is an especially rough time for teenagers.
The students are the eyes and ears in the schools and there is a tip box called the Buddy Box where kids can anonymously report drugs, guns and bullying in a school.
Sitterud reminded everyone that the majority of the students don't use drugs.