Science Hill SRO keeps parents informed with drug talk

Tony Casey • Nov 19, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Pringles and Diet Pepsi cans with hidden compartments, song lyrics supportive of hard drug use and bracelets for marijuana legalization, were among the topics of discussion at a talk Monday night in Science Hill’s auditorium.

The talk, titled, “What’s Up with The Kids?”, was presented by Science Hill alternative school resource officer Lorrie Goff of the Johnson City Police Department, and gave the audience a heads up about drug culture and some of the ways drug messages are delivered.

Goff said that the purpose of the talk, delivered through a PowerPoint presentation, was to inform those in attendance about drug trends, and is not a warning sign or alert about any drug problem at Science Hill, but just things she’s noticed while training on this topic.

Accepting questions along the way, Goff went through various kinds of new drugs that have been popping up around the country and in the area. Gravel, for example, has recently surfaced in Washington County. The good news on gravel is that it hasn’t been seen at Science Hill. Goff said it runs anywhere from $80-$200 a gram, and has dramatic effects on users. She said someone on gravel might see police officers as dragons, and be stronger than an ox.

A problem that does hit close to home would be kids easily being able to get high on over the counter products, which is the scariest aspect of it all to one parent who was in attendance.

Hazel Robinson said it was the common products that scared her the most after she learned that kids were mixing cough syrup with energy drinks and hard candy as a concoction called “sizzurp.”

Robinson told Goff that she recently had a situation with her son where another student asked him if he wanted a beer in the middle of class. Upon refusing, the student snuck the beer into Robinson’s son’s bag. When he learned it was in there, he didn’t know what to do, not wanting to get in trouble for being in possession of alcohol underage, so he kept it until he got home, where he gave it to his mother.

Goff said she has an “ask no questions” policy when it comes to students, who she calls her kids, turning in illegal items they find at or around school. She’d rather have illegal items in her possession than out in public.

“If you find something, bring it to me,” Goff said.

Molly comes in pill, capsule and rock form, and has garnered a lot of attention in a recent Miley Cyrus song. The drug also has hit locally, and causes the most danger as being a stimulant that often caused people to dance and sweat themselves into exhaustion. Goff said for the immediate locality, she’s mostly seen it in pill form.

Marijuana continues to be a culturally popular trend, Goff said, showing many examples of how it’s worked into music and retail products.

The question was asked what a parent should do if they suspect their child of something. Goff said it’s recommended that you check their immediate health for any noticeable changes, and, if curious, a parent can buy and administer their own drug test.

Goff shared her information with the crowd and said she would be available if they should have any more questions about these topics.

Jim Jordan, a parent in attendance, said he was there to support any kind of effort there might be to curtail drug use. He said he thinks drugs are a much bigger deal than he previously thought, and hopes technology can step up big to help with the fight. He said an anonymous survey among the kids to let parents and authorities know what they’re going up against would do well, or perhaps an anonymous tip line to report any illegal activity.

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