“You can’t stop what you don’t know.”
This is what Jermaine Galloway discussed Nov. 16 when he talked to parents and community members at Batesville Middle School about spotting the signs of substance abuse. Earlier that day, he also held a training for professionals at the Southeastern Indiana YMCA.
“No one thing means any one thing …. I can tell you if I see something that goes with the drug culture, but just because someone has something like that, it doesn’t mean they’re using drugs. You have to ask questions,” explained “The Tall Cop.”
“If you see a drug reference on a shirt, ask questions, such as ‘Why do you like this shirt?’”
“Everything your kids might want can be found on the internet. If your child wants to get his/her hands on it, he/she will. You’ve got to be active and paying attention. You can’t assume your child isn’t doing it.
“Your kids can order drugs from China. They can find drugs from online vendors. They can be in chat rooms and have drug dealers come there. They can order up drugs just like you order pizza.
“The drug culture has been significantly worse in 2017 compared to 2016. With teen suicide and depression, negative things with teens can be tied back to substance abuse.
“As a parent, drugs affect you differently than they do your kids …. Parents will say, ‘I did the same things when I was their age.’ However, the potency level has changed. We are seeing synthetic opioids, painkillers, coming out of labs, mostly from China. You have drugs in Batesville that originated from China.”
In addition, “drugs are being marketed to kids. Out of New York, they had heroin disguised as ‘Sweet Tarts,’ and there were meth lollipops in Texas. This is what law enforcement is dealing with. It’s very different from what we’ve traditionally seen.”
The Boise, Idaho, resident said there are clothing, socks and hats sold that have images of marijuana leaves on them. “Look past the obvious. When you see something you recognize, look for something else, maybe a hat that has a stash compartment in it. You have clothing lines within your state that have stash compartments in them. These hiding places could be for valuables, such as money, keys, cell phones, but most of us don’t have stash compartments in our clothes. You need to ask, ‘What’s the motivation for wearing clothing with these hidden compartments?’”
Galloway also referred to the number/term 420. This is a code for “the universal time and day to get high.”
“The marijuana world has shifted. Different people want specific strains …. There are two main classifications of marijuana: indica and sativa.
“Indica works like a depressant. It has a fat, short leaf. It’s used as a sleep aid, increases appetite, creates a heavier high and reduces anxiety.
“Sativa works like an upper. It has a skinny and tall leaf. It gives you more energy, can cause hallucinations and can increase focus.
“There are also hybrids, which are a combination of indica and sativa and other things, too …. Today’s marijuana isn’t your parents’ marijuana. It is more potent.”
“Sizzurp is created by mixing cough syrup, which contains promethazine and codeine, with some type of drink, such as Sprite, and adding a Jolly Rancher for flavor. You may not even taste the cough medicine …. The street names for this are drank or purple drank, lean/purple lean, purple stuff and dirty Sprite.
“We are seeing mixing of other drugs in cough syrups, too …. There is lots of poly drug use going on.” In addition, “drugs, including marijuana, are being laced with heroin, PCP, LSD and fentanyl.”
“Synthetic drugs, such as Ecstasy (nicknamed Molly), are made in labs. Most of these drugs come out of China and Mexico. A lot of Molly is often cut with other drugs, such as caffeine, meth and with compounds consistent with bath salts.”
“Spice is another synthetic drug. It works like other stimulants and can cause panic attacks and paranoia …. Some kids think spice is safe, but it’s not, and it’s not legal.”
“Everything is coming out in new forms,” said the former Boise, Idaho, police officer, who has won four national awards for his work. “There are no ethics in the drug culture. They’re not worried about public health or safety …. Drugs can be unforgiving. It could be your first time experimenting, and it could be lethal.”
What can parents do?
The Tall Cop encouraged parents to do spot checks on their children’s cellphones. “Look at some of the texts they’re sending and receiving, just so they know you’re checking.
“Look past the obvious. Walk through local retail locations, the parts of the store where your kids go. Share info with others. Talk to your kids about what’s going on in school. They can tell you who parties every weekend, who smokes pot and who’s doing drugs. Explain the problems of being associated with those who do drugs, and how they can hurt them.”
More information can be found at www.tallcopsaysstop.com or on Facebook at Tall Cop Says Stop.
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