Schools to hold dangers of new drugs workshop

Staff Reports • Dec 17, 2015 at 5:19 PM

Medicine abuse is a growing trend. In 2011, Lebanon police Chief Scott Bowen joined the fight to ban synthetic drugs marketed as incense and bath salts.

“Monitoring and stopping drug abuse among youth is one of our top priorities,” said Bowen. “We partner with both school systems, as well as other youth-oriented organizations to do everything in our power to stop drug abuse. Currently, we hear more and more about a trend called ‘Skittles parties.’”

According to web reports, “Skittles parties” are where a bunch of teenagers or young adults get together with a lot of random pills, usually taken from their parent or grandparents’ medicine cabinets. These pills are all placed into a bag or other container. Those attending the party then pick up a handful of pills and pop them. The combination of medications, both over-the-counter, and prescription, could be lethal.

A couple of myths about prescription and over-the-counter drugs are that they are safer to experiment with because a doctor has approved their use. People often think that prescription and OTC meds are safer than illegal drugs.

“In reality, if you possess or use prescription drugs that are not prescribed in your name, they are illegal, and they are not safe,” said Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan.

Bryan, along with Scott Moore, Wilson County school resource officer program supervisor, are also well-known partners with both school systems, providing expertise in school safety and community awareness, according to Lebanon Family Resource Center coordinator Beth Petty.

Lebanon schools are again partnering with Lebanon and Wilson County law enforcement agencies to educate parents about the risky behaviors in which teens are facing and engaging.

“We know that forms of drug abuse change at a rapid pace,” Petty said. “We are glad there are experts in our community who are willing to share the most up-to-date information with us.”

Lebanon Director of Schools Scott Benson said, “We are excited to have as guest speakers, Officer P J Hardy, from the Lebanon Police Department and

Cpl. Walker Woods from the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department. Both departments have been diligent in their dedication for safety for our students and their families.”

The workshop will be Sept. 30 from 6-8:30 p.m. in Castle Heights Elementary School library.

Petty said those attending the workshop will learn local, state and national trends in drug use and abuse, as well as tips to keep their children drug-free, and what to do if they suspect drug use.

Childcare, refreshments and materials are free. Parenting materials will be provided by a grant awarded from the Middle Tennessee Electric Customer Care Program.

The workshop is open to anyone in Wilson and surrounding counties. For more information, or to register, contact Petty at 615-453-2693 or pettyb@k12tn.net.

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