CCSO visits IHS for Red Ribbon Week

Published 1:35 pm Friday, October 26, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Isabella High School students were encouraged and challenged to avoid illegal drug use and prescription drug abuse as part of a healthy life during Red Ribbon Week (Oct. 22-26).

As a part of the week’s focus, the Chilton County Sheriff’s Office presented information on the dangers and consequences of drug use.

Sheriff John Shearon emphasized that avoiding drug use is important to achieving one’s goals and having a good life.

“Making those right choices happens now,” Shearon said. “If you have friends that you are hanging around that smoke weed … Guess what? … If you hang around those people, it is just a matter of time before you are doing the same thing they’re doing.”

He said drug use impacts more than just the individual and hurts the person’s family members.

Shearon told students to be careful who they look up to.

“You don’t want to pattern your life after someone who is on drugs,” Shearon said.

He said these people are either in and out of jail or they die from using drugs.

“If they try to get you to use drugs, I promise you, they are not your friend,” Stephen Brock of the Chilton County Sheriff’s Office said.

He encouraged students to choose friends who have goals and want to make something of their life.

Many times it is only the first time that makes someone addicted, Shearon said.

Shearon and Brock warned that many illegal drugs could kill a person the first time they use it. Brock said even weed is often laced with something making even one use deadly.

Shearon reminded students that they are not invincible. He encouraged students to think about the consequences of decisions before they happen.

It only takes a very small amount of fentanyl mixed with meth or heroine to kill someone, Brock said.

Brock warned that illegal drug use, even synthetic weed, can be deadly after one try. He said this drug is often sprayed on potpourri, so the amount on each piece is inconsistent, meaning one part could have a lethal dose.

He said the ingredients in meth are toxic just by themselves, such as lye, acid and paint thinner.

During the presentation to the middle and high school students, Shearon challenged the high school students to be a good example for the younger students.

Brock said even students can go to jail for drug-related offenses.

“Red Ribbon Week is not just something that is a week to me,” school counselor Amy Ballew said. “It is a way of life. Healthy living is a choice.”

Ballew said the week was first established as an awareness campaign in memory of a drug enforcement officer who died in the line of duty.

Students were also given access to Drug Free resources to learn more about what certain illegal drugs look like in order to avoid them.