Even though in-person school, activities and gatherings have been on the backburner lately, we will soon be out and about once again. And with this return comes temptation, especially for our teens and tweens. Drug and alcohol use, abuse and experimentation are not always easy to spot. However, Grays Harbor County executives are bringing back Jermaine Galloway, the Tall Cop, to teach parents and key leaders what to look for. The 2021 event takes place on Tuesday, March 23, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will be a virtual presentation via Zoom. Free to adults only, you don’t need to RSVP, just join the meeting.
The CDC reports that by their senior year in high school, 40% of students have tried cigarettes, half have experimented with marijuana and two-thirds have used alcohol. They explain that this can “affect the growth and development of teens, especially brain development…the earlier teens start using substances, the greater their chances of continuing to use substances and developing substance use problems later in life. When teens begin drinking at an early age, they increase the chance of becoming addicted to or continuing to abuse substances later in life.”
Jermaine Galloway, a towering 6-foot-9-inch police officer from Texas, travels the country sharing his years of expertise. He has taught more than 650,000 people and offers community scans to identify drug and alcohol trouble spots in a region. His “High in Plain Sight” and “You Can’t Stop What You Don’t Know” lectures have educated students, families, educators, police officers and government advocates for more than 15 years.
“The first hour and a half will be Jermaine’s presentation on ‘High in Plain Sight: Current Alcohol, Drug and Concealment Trends and Identifiers,’” says Community Health Specialist Allegra Hood. “Then we will open it up for questions. When Jermaine is done, Harbor Strong and My TOWN coalitions will both present. We will discuss programs we are running and highlight our successes during this challenging year of COVID.”
There are many topics included in Galloway’s presentation. They include drug trends, detection, and symptoms, as well as information about recently formulated synthetic drugs, inhalants, and other trending products. He looks at the relationship between substance abuse and violence, teaches slang and terminology, and conducts a community scan. During these scans, Galloway visits local stores, bars, smoke shops, malls and other locations to observe and reports back regarding a community’s vulnerability.
This will be Galloway’s third speaking event in Grays Harbor County. He “is an engaging speaker and has so much knowledge on the ever-changing trends,” says Hood. “His trainings are always well received in the community and have a good turnout.”
These trainings are open to anyone with a heart for the region. “We really want to stress that this isn’t just for law enforcement, school districts, city and government officials,” says Hood. “Anyone can be considered a key leader. If you care about your community, the community members in it, our youth, and your children you are a key leader in our eyes.”
A partnership of caring individuals, Galloway’s work meshes perfectly with the My TOWN Coalition. Coordinated by Grays Harbor County Public Health & Social Services Department staff, they have a mission which “Provides leadership, promotes prevention, and builds partnerships to reduce drug abuse.”
The Harbor Strong Coalition echoes that goal. Their aim is to improve school achievements by reducing underage drug and alcohol in area middle and high schools. Both groups work to enhance transparency and start the discussion with kids of all ages.
Free Zoom Event Can Help
If you have questions about the upcoming event, contact Allegra Hood at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 360.500.4066, extension 4066.
Click here for the Zoom link for the March 23 event. The meeting ID is 840 2400 4448.
Please stay muted throughout the presentation and enter any questions into the chat box where they will be addressed in a timely fashion by moderators.
The lure of drugs and alcohol are all around us. Our kids are especially sensitive to peer pressure. But one safety measure—endorsed by the 21 federal agencies making up Youth.gov—is simple. They note, “Prevention programs have proven to be effective, but families and influential adults continue to play the most important role in determining how youth handle the lure of alcohol, cigarettes, misuse of prescription drugs, and illegal drugs…Parents and guardians (and adults influential in a youth’s life) who speak to their children about the issues and have dinner with them on a regular basis, have children with a lower rate of use and abuse.”
Start the conversation by attending the Tall Cop’s educational session and open a discussion over dinner. Your kids and your community will thank you for it for generations to come.