Drug and Alcohol Abuse is an area of interest to me, and thus I recently attended a professional development seminar on the topic called “Operation Street Smart.” This presentation was hosted by the sheriff’s department of Franklin County (Columbus). Information about this program can be found at: https://sheriff.franklincountyohio.gov/programs/operation-street-smart-drug-education.cfm, but its general format covered alcohol, marijuana, synthetics (K2/Spice), and then moving into prescription medication and heroin. The whole presentation is often as long as a few days according to the speaker, but we attended the condensed, 3 hour version. If you are a parent or administrator interested in learning more, particularly about signs of abuse and concealment, I would recommend this presentation, though I wished it provided more information about interventions.
Web sites they recommended:
Ohio-Specific Resources will be a separate post, as I believe that is worthy and crucial.
Some of the notes I took from this presentation, that others might find helpful, include:
- Alcohol is by far the most abused drug, and causes by far the most deaths
- The absurd amount of prescription drugs used by Americans above the rest of the country – 75% of all pharmaceuticals, according to the presenters. These legal drugs often are abused and then lead to heroin addictions, as heroin is a cheaper form.
- Approximately 80% of all heroin addicts began with pharmaceutical drugs.
- The prescription drug and opioid epidemics are continuing to grow
- Heroin often comes in little balloons, or balls of foil.
- Things to look for that I wouldn’t have known about were: ped eggs (foot files), oil clamp rings, and sandpaper, all of which are used to shave pills. Also, for heroin, things like aluminum foil and spoons, needles, tie-offs, melted straws, or “cookers” (e.g. the bottom of an aluminum can). Lumps from missed veins also last 10-14 days, and can be noticed.
- Common terms for Xanax including “footballs,” “school busses,” and “ladders”
- Percocets are the instant release form of Oxycodone
- Some apps for identifying drugs are Pillbox and iPharmacy
- Narcan is growing in importance as a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid, commonly used as a “Lazarus” drug to reverse an overdose. Now available OTC.