South Paulding High School Hosts Paulding County Alcohol and Drug Awareness Program
One of the best ways to stem the tide of clogging drug courts and other agencies in the community and save lives is to attack the problem through grass-roots programs that reach out to young people before it’s already too late and they’ve made decisions that end badly and may cast a shadow over the rest of their lives.
In Paulding County, just such a preventive program held its latest session last week at South Paulding High School in Douglasville. Paulding Superior Court sponsors an Alcohol and Drug Awareness program designed to raise awareness of high school students about the pitfalls of substance abuse and to encourage better decision- making toward the goal of leading happier and more productive lives.
The program cycles its way through the school system and will be doing more events this year.
Said County Administrator Frank Baker, who has worked in almost 60 similar events, last week’s event mixed some fun with some strong messaging for the kids.
“The theme today is to provide as much information as possible so that their takeaway can be that they can make a decision,” Baker said, who added that presenters want to convey that decisions made today can affect a person’s entire life.
Among key presenters, Chris Sandy and Eric Krug spoke to students about how a few minutes in their lives altered their futures forever.
Paulding County Commission Chairman Dave Carmichael was among several county officials on hand. He sees the event as impactful in young lives.
“The different choices that they make in the future will definitely be altered by this exposure today; we’ll never know how many lives will be affected, and even saved, by the decisions that they make,” Carmichael said.
And, another positive aspect to the event is that there is some opportunity for recruitment for the future that can and has occurred at these events, according to Steve Mapes, public information officer with Paulding County’s Fire & Rescue.
Representatives from various branches of public safety were also present to meet and talk with students during the event. Students are given the chance to network with reps and find out more about what they do.
“We’re put in a negative light sometimes in the media and kids don’t really get the idea that we’re all a part of the same community,” said Paulding County Sheriff Sergeant Ashley Henson.