The Drug Store Project...

This year is the 11th year of The Drug Store Project event; a drug prevention education opportunity for 6th grade youth of the Tahoe basin. Students from several local schools participated in this activity. Three hundred youth, forty agencies and a community of volunteers, together learned about the ill effects drug and alcohol use can have on our bodies and in our lives. 

We were divided into groups, led by a National Guardsman. We went from room to room, witnessing various scenes. At one point, Jasmine, a student in the group, stole drugs from a display and was caught.
Jasmine was then taken to Juvenile Hall, booked, which we all witnessed and the difficult conditions she had to endure. After her trial, we saw her attend a counseling session.  The group heard it all.
We then saw Jasmine continue to make poor choices as she attended a party, ingested prescription medication with alcohol, after which she collapsed.
Paramedics were called in, worked on her for a bit, and then transported her to the hospital.
Actual medical personnel tried to revive Jasmine but were unable to, and her father was brought in, to say goodbye. At this point, I was pretty weepy.
A funeral was held, and when it was time to 'view the body' each student looked at a mirror, in the coffin, with the words, "This Could Be You" written on it. Powerful discussions about choices followed.
We continued on to other informative sessions. One was Molly, a local gal who told the story of her first time drinking and her severe alcohol poisoning, which had her in the ER, near death.
Tahoe's K-9 Police Officers shared Quatro's drug detecting, and bad guy stopping techniques.
Since many drug users will booby trap their homes to protect their 'stash', the Bomb Squad informed about what they do.
Agency personnel from law enforcement, the courts, probation, drug counseling, fire agencies, medical staff, pastoral services, and the mortuary, all discussed the consequences of using and abusing drugs. I believe most of the students were impacted by today's life lesson. For some, it will hit them later. For me, I was thankful that my boys are beyond this challenging part of teen years, but I am also appreciative of all those who want to make certain these 6th graders grow up and choose to refuse.

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