Pubdate: Tue, 22 Jun 2010
Source: Southern Gazette, The (CN NF)
Copyright: 2010 Transcontinental Media
Author: Paul Herridge


Parents attending a DARE graduation ceremony at Donald C. Jamieson
Academy in Burin last week received a reminder from police.

The message was that they, too, must be extra vigilant in the effort
to protect their children against the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

Students from Anita Piercey's and Margaret Ann Cleal's two Grade 6
classes were rewarded June 14 for the successful completion of the
DARE - 'Drug Abuse Resistance Education' - program, instructed by Cst.
Mike Martel of the RCMP's Burin Customs and Excise Section, with
certificates and a party at the school.

In addressing the group, Cpl. Geoff Greene, also of the Burin Customs
and Excise Section and a former DARE officer at the school, suggested
parents need only take a walk through a nearby area known as 'The
Pit', frequented by students at neighbouring Pearce Junior High during
breaks, and take a look around the grounds to see what's going on.

"It'll be a big eye opener for some of you."

According to Cpl. Greene, some youth are experimenting with
prescription drugs they find at home, searching medicine cabinets for
pills, researching their effects on the Internet and popping them at

"There are kids that wound up, since Christmas, in the hospital here
in Burin pumped out because of these pills."

The RCMP is working with Burin Pharmacy on an initiative to allow
residents to turn in any unused prescription drugs they do not need
this week.

Cpl. Greene acknowledged the party drug 'Ecstasy', which also comes in
pill form and often looks like candy, is a big concern as well. He
indicated there are a few dealers in the area with the ability to make
their own tablets.

"You don't know what's in that pill. It could be Percocets, It could
be OxyContin. It could be Crystal Meth. They're selling these pills to
young people like you guys, and a lot of kids are being forced to try
to take them as a dare."

Sgt. Wayne Edgecombe, Operations NCO with the Burin Peninsula District
RCMP, suggested drug and alcohol use among minors seems to be getting

He said one of the major issues of late has been with parents throwing
parties, and some reports even of supplying liquor for their underage
children - who in many cases are still several years away from
reaching the legal drinking age.

He indicated there have been at least 10 such instances of these
parties in the area this year.

Sgt. Edgecombe said parents have to be more aware of the bad things
that can happen to young, inexperienced drinkers and should counsel
them accordingly instead of condoning underage drinking, as many seem
to do.

Donald C. Jamieson principal Bert Squires told the graduating students
he was proud of the effort they put forth.

"We consider the DARE program, and all the issues surrounding drugs
and other things in this area, to be of the utmost importance." 
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