Jim Thorpe community watch learns about drug awareness
HEATHER BACSICK/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Lt. David Midas, second from right, of the Carbon County Sheriff's Office, speaks to the Jim Thorpe Community Watch about the dangers of drugs. Looking on are, l-r, Jim Thorpe police officer Eric Schrantz, Jim Thorpe Mayor Michael Sofranko, and Community Watch Coordinator Jamie Solomon.
Lieutenant David Midas, of the Carbon County Sheriff's Office, visited the Jim Thorpe Community Watch and gave a presentation about the dangers of drugs.
Midas, who teaches the D.A.R.E. program in local schools, brought displays for drug identification and informational pamphlets. He spoke with the group and they had the opportunity to ask questions and look at the displays.
"Who can be a drug user or drug dealer?" Midas asked, then answered his question. "Anybody can be a drug user or drug dealer."
He explained that drug users and dealers affect the community. Getting involved in drugs can lead to hurting yourself and others, robberies, arson, assaults, and violence.
He explained how to recognize drug use and how to address it.
"If we can catch it early in our county or any county, we can make some changes," said Midas, adding that communities can help.
"Drugs are poisonous," said Midas. "Drugs directly affect your mind. Any drug at all directly affects your mind."
He talked about the three big drug problems in Carbon County. He said other drugs are issues as well, but these are the three big issues.
Heroine is number one in Carbon County, said Midas, and heroine is used by any age group.
Prescription drug abuse is number two. Many young people will steal prescription drugs from their grandparents or someone else.
Methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth, is number three in the county. People use over the counter drugs to make crystal meth.
Midas talked about reasons why people do drugs. He said that people want to rebel, fit in, escape and relax, to experiment, to seem grown-up or stop boredom. With children there are issues with peer pressure.
He said that the reality is that drug users can overdose and die. Drug users can also do bad things to a community and that's why it's important to have community watch groups.
He stressed that it's important to not look at drug users as anyone who has lost hope. Instead, think of them as somebody who can get help.
"There is help available and it can start at home," said Midas.
The focus is for the drug user to survive and get help.
Midas explained the "I CAN" method.
• "I" will allow my community, family, and friends to help me.
• "C"ooperate with people family, police, and community watch
• "A"llow treatment to work and benefit from it.
• "N"ever give up.
One of the displays Midas brought was a miniature prop casket. This display represents that death is a reality of a drug user. Midas closed the lid of the casket to show that death does not have to be the end result for drug users. There are options for them to get help. They can go to family, friends, authorities, programs and more.
He said the key thing is for people to make good choices.
Midas added that the eyes and ears of the community watch group is important to identify issues and to report that to the authorities.
Midas praised the work of community watches and how important they are for communities.