Pubdate: Mon, 09 Nov 2015
Source: Cape Breton Post (CN NS)
Copyright: 2015 Cape Breton Post
Author: Laura Jean Grant
Page: A3


A lesson in the dangers of drugs appeared to have hit home with many
Youth Speaks Up participants Sunday.

"I know I'll never do it," said Claire Trainor, a Grade 6 student at
Malcolm Munroe Middle School. "It destroys your body and I would never
think of doing it."

Trainor, 11, added that she thought it was an important topic for
people her age to be discussing.

"It's better to talk about it when you're young," she

Jordan MacNeil, a Grade 5 student at Cusack Elementary, said he
learned about what he can do if he is ever pressured to do drugs in
the future.

"If someone tells you to do drugs, all you have to do is just walk
away or just say 'No, I don't want no drugs,'" he said.

Those were just a few of the comments made at the end of a
presentation by RCMP officers Const. Andy MacLean and Const. TJ
Martell, who talked about the reasons why young people get into drugs,
the different types of drugs, the dangers of drugs, and the choices
facing all young people.

"I think the biggest message we wanted to get across was to let the
kids know that there is choices and what to do if approached or what
to do in a situation (where there are drugs)," said MacLean. "The
other biggest thing was to educate them about the dangers. There are
true dangers in using drugs."

MacLean also talked to the youth about what he regularly hears from
people struggling with addictions to drugs.

"They say 'I wish I never tried it the first time, I wish I never
started,'" he said. "(Addiction) is horrible."

They were words Jaiden Ryan, 10, a Grade 5 student at Mira Road
Elementary, took to heart.

"I think that it's horrible that they would even start in the first
place," she said.

During the presentation, MacLean and Martell showed samples of some of
the drugs that are prevalent in this area and Lucas Fraser, a Grade 6
student, said getting to see what they were talking about helped him

The officers also asked each participant what they wanted to be when
they grew up and their answers ranged from NHL player to marine
biologist to doctor. MacLean encouraged them to pursue those dreams
and to say no to drugs.

"It's all about choices. We all have a choice to make when it comes to
using drugs," he said.

Youth Speaks Up sessions are for students in Grade 5 and Grade 6 and
are held monthly in Sydney. They include a lunch and a presentation by
a guest speaker, followed by an opportunity for students to ask questions.
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