Pubdate: Fri, 08 Feb 2002
Source: Daily Record, The (NJ)
Copyright: 2002 The Daily Record
Author: Matt Manochio


ROCKAWAY TWP. - A federal drug agent urged parents at Copeland Middle 
School on Thursday to take a closer look at their children's lives.

Special Agent Doug Collier said parents must realize that club drugs such 
as Ecstasy are not only harmful but can be deadly, even if tried only once.

Collier, who works out of the Drug Enforcement Agency's Newark office, 
spoke to about 50 parents at the school while their children took part in a 
seventh- and eighth-grade dance featuring Z100 radio personality John Bell.

The presentation was part of the district's Project Positive Choice drug 
abuse education program. The price of a student's admission to the dance 
was a parent willing to listen to Collier's presentation.

Collier said parents are the biggest influence on a child's approach to 
drugs, from learning about them to avoiding their use. Parents must also 
take the first steps if a child is abusing drugs, he said.

If parents suspect their child is using drugs, Collier said, "If you feel 
it, if you believe it, go with your insides. Get some professional help."

Collier focused on the drugs Ecstasy, ketamine and GHB, all of which can 
usually be found at raves, large dance parties with pulsating, beat-laden 

"I think it's scary what our children are up against with these drug 
dealers and these drugs coming from other countries," Eileen Pringle, whose 
13-year-old daughter attended the dance, said after Collier's talk.

"I'm not sure our children are knowledgeable enough to deal with it."

Ecstasy tablets, small, multicolored, circular pills, give a long, 
pleasurable "high" by stimulating the senses, but it also sends the heart 
rate and blood pressure skyrocketing. Its side effects include potentially 
deadly dehydration and involuntary teeth clenching.

Collier said youngsters start using this drug in their early teens, under 
the mistaken notion that it is harmless. He said the drug destroys brain 
cells and kills the section of the brain responsible for memory.

"The Ecstasy eats the brain tissue," Collier said. He highlighted his point 
with a videotape of a 22-year-old woman whose brain scan revealed images of 
a "moth-eaten," Ecstasy-ravaged brain.

Gamma-hydroxybutyrate, or GHB, a depressant, slows breathing and heart 
rates to dangerously low levels, Collier said. It is sometimes used as a 
"date-rape" drug because it impairs memory while providing a euphoric 
effect. He also touched on ketamine, a powdery, hallucinatory drug.

Collier said children sometimes combat the side effects of drugs, 
especially Ecstasy, by sucking on pacifiers or lollipops. He also said they 
sometimes conceal drugs in candy bags by emptying out the candy and 
heat-sealing the bag shut.

Several township police officers also attended the presentation and gave 
their advice to parents.

"Know who your children's friends are," Rockaway Township police Chief 
Walter Kimble told the audience. He added that parents with questions about 
any of these drugs should call their police department.

More information about club drugs is available at
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