Expert discusses drugs awareness and trends
Area law enforcement, mental health providers, and other community members had a chance to learn Monday about various current drug use trends.
Jermaine Galloway, known as the "Tall Cop" of Idaho, talked about everything from signs and symptoms to what's popular and why it is trending.
"And the stuff they might be seeing and not realize what they might be seeing," he said.
Galloway is a nationally recognized presenter, a four-time national award winner and an expert in alcohol and drug abuse prevention.
He has been involved with law enforcement in Idaho since 1997 and has more than 14 years of experience in drug education and enforcement.
Drug-Free Marlboro Coalition, Trinity Behavioral Care, the ALPHA Center, Rubicon and the Fourth Circuit Alcohol Enforcement Team hosted "What's Trending: U Need to Know" at the Bennettsville Community Center.
Galloway advised parents to stay active and vigilant.
"You will always be behind your kids," he said. "You just don't want to be a mile behind them."
He advised those in the prevention, enforcement and education worlds, to stay educated by attending training and paying attention to the media.
"Compile everything and you will start to see what is trending," Galloway. "As professionals, we can't look to others to fix the problems. We have to fix it. We have to do our best to stay in tune."
He noted opioids are one of the worst epidemics in this lifetime but added there are other drugs such as methamphetamine, different forms of marijuana and alcohol which are trending at a high level.
Gwendolyn Dixon-Coe attended the event with members of her church, Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, who work with youth.
"This has really been eye-opening," said Dixon-Coe, who retired from the school system three years ago. "I heard some terms and drug languages that were new to me."
For instance, she added, there are simple ways children can be exposed to drugs and adults would not have a clue.
"It is just household products that can be harmful when mixed together with something as simple as a cold drink," she said. "I think this is very beneficial to us as a faith community."
Galloway hoped those attending took away a true understanding of what they are dealing with.
"The better you can understand it, the better you can fight it," he said. "You can't stop what you don't know."