June 30, 2010

Virginia Guard Counterdrug program supports Franklin County drug awareness event

Courtesy of Virginia Guard Counterdrug Program

ROCKY MOUNT, Va. — The Virginia National Guard Counterdrug Taskforce supported the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office with their annual D.A.R.E. Day June 2 at Franklin County Recreational Park in Rocky Mount. Over 600 fifth graders from 10 different schools attended. Students went to different stations supported by state and local agencies such as fire and rescue, state and local law enforcement, wildlife management, Army Corps of Engineers, and of course, Counterdrug.

The Counterdrug program places Army and Air Guardsmen in communities throughout the commonwealth conducting Drug Demand Reduction classes for schools and civic organizations, supporting law enforcement agencies with criminal analysts and aviation support, managing the Virginia National Guard internal drug testing program, and providing all hazard treatment referral services to Guardsmen and their families. The program is a supporting effort at the local, state, and federal levels working both supply and demand sides of the drug crisis. The Counterdrug program is a collaborative member of the Governor’s Office for Substance Abuse Prevention, the Governor’s Initiative Against Narcotics Trafficking, and the Attorney General’s Gang Reduction and Intervention Program.

The D.A.R.E day provided a wide array of displays for students from police dogs to a medical helicopter. Even Mayberry’s own Deputy Barney Fife was onsite.

At the Counterdrug display, students got to see examples of different drugs and their effects from our Drug Demand Reduction displays. Soldiers supported the D.A.R.E. theme by reinforcing the dangers of alcohol, tobacco, inhalants, and marijuana, and by showing items like real lungs with cancer, a real liver with cirrhosis, and the “Jar of Tar” display.

Students were shown how alcohol and marijuana harm the body, clarifying myths that these products may be good for you or make good medicine. Students attending the Counterdrug portion earned the opportunity to explore a military specification Humvee. A great day was had by all and over 600 students were better armed with information to make positive life choices to avoid substance abuse.

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