POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Prevention Coalition recently met discussing the recently held Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) State Conference.
Richard Sargent, Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School (PPJ/SHS) teacher, shared he took four of his students from the PPJ/SHS SADD chapter to the SADD State Conference. His students represented PPJ/SHS and Mason County well and attended all of the day’s informational sessions with no complaint. Sargent commented he and his students learned a lot of good information and overall it was a great experience. They learned about an app on iphones that will tell the user how much screen time they utilize during the day. Sargent commented this opened up his students’ eyes on how much time they actually spend on their phones. During the final activity of the day, the PPJ/SHS students placed in the final 10 of the prevention game show which mixed pop culture questions and prevention questions.
Also, last week, the entire chapter of the PPJ/SHS SADD group participated in “Kick Butt Day” which is a day dedicated to promoting youth to kick the habit of smoking. Along the halls of the school, the SADD students put up 33 questions about tobacco and 33 answers and the other students of the school had to try and match the correct questions and answers. The SADD students also put up the “Kick Butt Day” logo around the school’s hallways. During the students lunch periods, Principal William Cottrill read aloud the correct answers. At the end of the week, prizes were given to the students who answered the most correct questions.
In other business, Amanda Lacy, a community outreach specialist for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, was in attendance to speak about National Drug Take Back Day which is set for Saturday, April 27 and a new program called “Operation Prevention” which is a self-paced computer module for students in kindergarten-12th grades. The students take a pre-test to test their prevention knowledge and then after they go through the prevention courses take another final test to test their updated knowledge. Lacy shared representatives from the DEA can visit any area schools and speak with the students about drug prevention as well.
She shared with the MCPC members drug statistics for Mason County as well. The county has seen 59 drug arrests, 24 being in Point Pleasant, and the amount of the methamphetamine abuse has increased in Mason County.
The DEA also investigates local doctors’ offices and pharmacies making sure no malpractice with drugs is being done. Anyone with knowledge of malpractice can call the DEA tip line.
The MCPC members discussed tentative plans for the upcoming town hall which will be focusing on juuling/vaping training and prevention discussions at the area high schools. The first high school to be visited will be Wahama Junior/Senior High School. The presentation will be between 45 minutes to an hour and the date and final plans are to be decided. Lacy shared a lesson called “Catch My Breath” which is focused on juuling might be a good lesson for the students.
The MCPC members also discussed the recent Career Connections Quarterly Training and a report was given on Prestera Center.
Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.