|Deputy Paul Simmons discusses the dangers of drug use.|
The Emery County Headstart parents recently participated in a drug awareness session presented by Deputy Paul Simmons from the Emery County Sheriff's Office. Deputy Simmons encouraged the parents to be aware of what is going on around them and to report suspicious people or activities to the sheriff's office.
Deputy Simmons said rural areas are being used all the time for the making of methamphetamine. Suspicious things to watch for would include camp trailers parked in outlying areas with vents and hoses coming out of them. He said these types of meth producers are hard to catch because they move around a lot. But with public awareness and community help they can be caught. Deputy Simmons said he knows that everyone cares about their kids and nobody wants their child to grow up to be a drug user. He stressed the need for parental involvement and knowing where kids are and where they are going at all times. Know who they are associating with and the company they are keeping.
Small children need to be educated about the risks involved in taking drugs and the damage it can have on their body. Deputy Simmons showed pictures to the parents showing what happens to a body on drugs. He showed the deterioration of the teeth of a meth user. Meth users also put their meth use as their highest priority. They will buy meth before they will buy food for their children. Meth use by parents puts the children at risk. Chemicals used in the production of meth are extremely hazardous. He also showed victims of accidents from meth production and the serious burns that can occur. People have been burned and killed when tanks rupture and blow up.
Deputy Simmons said that brain activity decreased in drug users and losses in brain function may never be regained. Serious damage to the body results in meth use. Meth is highly addictive and treatment and recovery for meth users doesn't have a very high recovery rate. Sometimes meth users who are treated for depression can be helped.
Deputy Simmons said he is involved in teaching the DARE program at Cleveland and Huntington Elementaries. He believes positive peer pressure in encouraging children to stay off of drugs is helpful.
At the junior high level, peer helpers are used to encourage junior high age children to stay off of drugs.
Education on what you have to lose if you become a drug user is helpful in keeping children off drugs.
The Headstart parents also received reports on how their children are doing in preschool. They worked on establishing a parent committee and planning future activities for the Headstart children.