Drug awareness event at Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center calls on parents

Goal to educate public, ‘help stop drug use, drive it out of community’

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FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Most children are pretty savvy about drugs, it’s the parents who are sometimes clueless about use and addiction.

That’s the thinking behind a community drug awareness event taking place at 7 p.m. on Nov. 5 at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center, 3410 Ronald Reagan Boulevard.

Community leaders will hold the free event aimed at parents.

“We started talking about how many kids were on drugs and parents who didn’t have a clue and didn’t know which way to go,” said Cindy Jones Mills, a Forsyth County commissioner who is helping to organize the event. “We want to better educate the public and parents in particular, and we can help stop it and drive it out of our community.”

All are welcome to the free event that will feature former Atlanta Braves All-Star pitcher John Smoltz as the featured speaker, a panel of experts that parents can ask questions of and real stories from parents who are dealing with children addicted to drugs.

Although final details are not completely finalized, the event brings together Forsyth County government, the school system, judicial system, DUI Court, Drug Court, the solicitor’s office and sheriff’s office officials.

The school system is going to help spread the word to parents and help with marketing the event to the community.

Mills said the goal is to help parents recognize signs or to look for signs; things they can do, “pointing them in the right direction, giving them options.”

At least three recent overdose deaths are linked to heroin. According to sheriff’s office incident reports, on Aug. 15, an affluent 16-year-old high school student was found dead at his home. Two other adult males – 22 and 27 years old – have also died because of heroin overdose in the last year.

“I think our timing is perfect,” Mills said. “We are doing something. We are not trying to sweep it under the rug and pretend that it’s not there. We want to bring light to it.”

In the week of Oct. 21 through Oct. 25, schools throughout the county will take part in the Red Ribbon Week campaign that aims to educate youth about drugs prevention. Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country.

School officials say they will do their part, but parents with children in the fourth grade and up should plan to attend the event on Nov. 5.

“It’s affecting younger and younger kids,” Mills said. “I think this is way too important for the community… drugs are evolving so quickly.”

DRUG SLANG:

Molly: Slang for molecular, it is the pure crystalline powder form of the popular club drug MDMA, which, in pill form, is known as ecstasy and is often mixed with other substances, such as caffeine.

Heroin: smack, horse, mud, brown sugar, junk, black tar and big H.

Cocaine: coke, snow, nose candy, flake, blow, big c, lady, white, snowbirds and powder.

Crack cocaine: crack, rock, freebase, cookie.

Amphetamines: speed, uppers, ups, black beauties, pep pills, co-pilots, bumblebees, hearts and footballs.

Methamphetamines: crank, crystal meth, crystal methadrine and speed.

Marijuana: pot, reefer, grass, weed, dope, ganja, Mary Jane or sinsemilla, urb.