By: Dylan Frazier
September is National Drug Prevention Month and the University of Findlay held some training session last Friday, Sept. 6, to help inform people on what to look for in people who are using drugs. While these training sessions may have been targeted at young people, the trainings can help students too.
The first training was called “Street Smart Training”, where those in attendance learned about the current terms and lingo in the drug world. It was hosted by UF’s Occupational Therapy Program and Franklin County’s Sherriff’s Department. The other training session, “Hidden in Plain Sight”, was hosted by Hancock Co. Public Health (HCPH). That training was also drug-related, and it was a recreation of someone’s bedroom, and you had to look for the signs that that person was using drugs.
Kayla Demuth, Health Educator at HCPH, hopes this training encourages parents to speak with their children about the dangers of drug use.
“The purpose of “Hidden in Plain Sight” is to educate, engage, and empower parents. That way they know [the parents] about risky behaviors. We’re engaging them about the risky behaviors and what items are associated with risky behaviors. We’re empowering them to start talking to their children at a young age because it will decrease the likelihood their child will experiment in them [risky behaviors],” said Demuth.
Jessica Halsey, also of HCPH, says the main thing to look for in someone who may be engaging in risky behaviors is if their mood is different than the norm.
“If they’re deviating from their normal behavior. So, if they’re normally are really actively during the day, then they aren’t as active or shying away from different activities they used to love and now not enjoying those as much,” said Halsey when asked what to look for in someone who may be using drugs or engaging in things they shouldn’t be.
For those on campus with a roommate, Demuth says approaching someone about potentially using drugs is a tough conversation. However, if you know they’re using drugs, try to help them.
“I think they should openly ask them about it [the drug use] and express their concerns. And let them know they’re there for them if they need help. Maybe slyly give them information for recovery or some data,” said Demuth.
For Halsey, she believes reporting the drug use to authorities is the best solution to the problem.
“If there’s illegal substances, which is any drug, is an illegal substance. They should probably be reported to authorities because that is not your [as a roommate] responsibility. There’s a possibility of being associated then [with the drug use], so you want to make sure you’re covering all bases. If all else fails, report any suspicions you have,” said Halsey.
For more information about the “Hidden in Plain Sight” training, visit https://www.yourpathtohealth.org/hidden-in-plain-sight/. If you or someone you know is struggling with drug abuse, visit http://drughelpline.org or call their toll-free number at 1-844-289-0879.