Pubdate: Fri, 21 Nov 2008
Source: Nor'wester, The (CN NF)
Copyright: 2008, Transcontinental Media
Author: William Clarke
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)


Students and parents received a wake-up call and an education on the
drugs that are floating around on the streets. RCMP Cpl. Ann Noel
attended Valmont Academy and Indian River High School on Nov. 17 as
part of an Addictions Awareness Week campaign.

"They know everything that you're talking about," said Cpl. Noel about
her student audience. "They've been there. They know about choices and
what you mean by, 'things you're not going to be proud of in the morning.'"

Ms. Noel has invested a large part of her policing career in combating
illegal drugs and organized crime. These days she's one of four
officers in the province that handle awareness in those areas. She
also looks after the DARE program.

After her student presentations, she said today's teens are much more
aware of drug culture than when her generation were teens. In those
days, a "bad trip" involved LSD and PCP. These days it's more apt to
be crystal meth or crack cocaine. She said today's youth are able to
connect through the Internet, they're seeing what's going on in
Europe, the United States and they're interacting with people in chat

"They're constantly seeing and are much more aware of what's out
there," said Cpl. Noel.

In her IRHS presentation to students, Cpl. Noel probably opened a few
eyes. She explained the high obtained from crystal meth is so
addictive because users seek to reach that state again, but they don't
know it can never be obtained. As an example about the dangers of
addiction, she pointed out a joint of marijuana doesn't necessarily
consist of just marijuana. It could have crystal meth mixed in and
that's something everybody needs to understand about the illegal drug

Her evening session at IRHS was reserved for parents and carried a
similar message. Part of that message is parents have to communicate
with their children about drugs and that they are not alone.

"There are many people that have to deal with that; the teachers do,
the police, the aunts, uncles and parents. We all have a role. It does
take a community to raise a child."

She said it's important to make sure parents aren't afraid to be
parents anymore and provided literature that would help them be able
to communicate with their kids.

"We're thinking, 'if it's not in my backyard, it's okay,'" she said.
"We have to talk about those things. We have youth that are addicted
and we have adults that are addicted."
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