Over the last several years being a school counselor, I have learned so many things that to recount it all would take up too much time. This afternoon, however, I learned that ignorance is not bliss.
Let me share what I mean. In my adult life there have been topics I haven’t explored because I believed they did not pertain to me or/nor was I that interested. So thus I stayed ignorant. Figured I was happier that way. I mean I couldn’t be held responsible for what I did not know. Well, this afternoon I became educated on what is happening in the drug culture and what is affecting us greatly, especially families.
In my counseling classes and in education, I was aware drugs were a very real part of my students world. It was part of my world. However, being aware is not a substitute to being informed. I liked keeping my head buried in the sand because than I felt safer and it was how I was raised. Now…..not so much.
The school district hosted a two hour workshop on the new trends in the drug world. A couple of us signed up to go and I am so thankful I did! It was a powerful and informative workshop. The presenter was Officer Jermaine Galloway from Boise, Idaho.
I learned about all sorts of names, music, clothes, strains, trends just to name a few things. Here are my takeaways from this afternoon:
- “You Can’t Stop What You Don’t Know” -his byline for his workshops and basically you can’t combat something if you know nothing about it.
- Drugs are being morphed, laced, and camouflaged in so many different ways that it would be a full-time job to stay current.
- Nothing is random–the music, the clothes, the drugs are tied together. As he says, “Sex, drugs, alcohol and explicit language all travel together”
- The ability to produce/manufacture drugs is EXTREMELY EASY TO DO!!! Websites like Amazon and Ebay are selling the equipment used by persons to make various substances like Xanax or Dabs. YouTube is full of videos that teach folks how to be their own pharmacy (so to speak). The more available something is, the more usage there is (think cellphones, etc).
As if this wasn’t enough to get my attention, he shared about the drugs Fentanyl and Carfentanil. Just google these drugs and check out the potency. Why are these drugs showing up more? There are several reasons for this; but what I got from this portion of the workshop and its impact in my world of elementary education is that it is being laced to other drugs such as marijuana, heroin, etc. So because of it potency it is very lethal. For those who are not opioid tolerant, a size of a penny of Fentanyl will kill you and a salt crystal sized carfentanil is even more potent, thus deadly. Kids are dying from this because you can buy synthetic drugs off the internet and “have it delivered to your home” or off the street and not know it has been laced as Officer Galloway shared.
Furthermore, it is deadly in several forms (not just through ingestion). If you see a zip loc bag of a substance, almost by instinct we open it up to smell it or touch it. With these two very potent and lethal substances, it would kill you. Hence why there is an increase in law enforcement and other service type employees (EMS, nurses, firefighters, etc) deaths from these drugs. So the takeaway, if you discover what you believe to be a substance you do not know what it is, contact law enforcement–don’t open the bag and sniff.
This is extremely terrifying and disturbing information. However, I am so glad I went because now I am more informed so when I see certain hats, shirts, hear certain music, etc I now know what is being conveyed. And that my friends is empowering. It is a HUGE ISSUE FACING OUR COUNTRY THUS OUR FAMILIES. But learning and stretching my mind to wrap around something I preferred to not know about is liberating.
So if you want to follow Officer Jermaine Galloway on Facebook or Twitter: #tallcopsayssstop or Tallcopsaysstop. He also has a website which I would invite you all to check out! An afternoon well spent!