Schools Look to Deal with Synthetic Drug Problem

By: Dave Byknish Email
By: Dave Byknish Email

WAYNESBORO, Va -- The school district currently has no way of talking to students about the dangers of synthetic drugs, but it is not because of a lack of effort.

“It's so new. That information is not there and available to get that information out to students, or get that information out to parents,” said Jamie Dunn, the school resource officer at Kate Collins Middle School.

Synthetic drugs, including “bath salts,” are always changing. It is more difficult to make educational material that addresses the dangerous effects of the drug as the components change.

Estimates on when a formal program will be available point towards next year. First-hand stories are not the most reliable way of teaching a child.

“It's a fatal drug. It can be fatal. It's once and you're no longer with us. Well I can't say that to an 11-year-old.”

That is where the Staunton Augusta Waynesboro (SAW) Coalition helps educate. Their seminars are built to keep communities aware of the newest trends with synthetic drugs.

“We wanted to have some avenues for the public to come to in general. So they could learn what the schools are learning and what the health departments are learning,” said Keri Jones, SAW Coalition program coordinator.

It allows parents to educate their children by keeping everyone updated on the newest information when it comes to the drug.

“It's kind of the first step of getting that information out. Making it open to the public. Getting parents there, getting kids there, so they information that we do have, they are aware,” said Dunn.

The SAW Coalition has five more educational sessions planned throughout the month of October.


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