The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office conducted a drug awareness program for parents and community members Thursday on the dangers and signs of drug use in Forsyth County.
“The first thing you should know is that we take drug use very seriously here in Forsyth,” said Deputy Pete Sabella of Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.
Sabella explained that the main focus of the drug awareness program is to inform participants about the three major drugs used in Forsyth County: marijuana, methamphetamine and designer drugs.
Deputies at the event explained the signs and symptoms of each, explained how they are used, the paraphernalia involved and the physical manifestations of both.
“Some parents don’t realize how bad the facts truly are,” said Deputy Kevin Ferraro of the Forsyth County Community Relations Unit at a similar presentation given in September. “Ninety percent of all people in treatment for addiction started [using] between the ages of 12 and 18. They’re kids. Does a kid decide one day, ‘I want to be a drug addict?’ That is not how it happens. That is not reality.”
According to Ferraro, drug use in minors usually begins with alcohol and marijuana, but that it hardly ever stops there.
“Not every kid that tries marijuana is going to move on to bigger and badder [drugs,]” he said, “but this is what leads them into the illegal drug activity. Kids aren’t afraid of [marijuana] anymore.”
“In Forsyth County, we think we live in this bubble where nothing comes into the county,” Ferraro said.
“That is not true and we’ve got to burst that bubble and come to reality. There is no force field keeping criminal activity out and keeping drugs out.”
Sabella said parents should be wary of any drug paraphernalia they find, especially spoons, needles and glass smoking pipes.
“We want parents to be able to see signs and know what to do about them,” Sabella said.
The program is offered to the public throughout the year and can be requested for groups and organizations by contacting the Community Relations Unit of the Forsyth Sheriff’s Office.