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Educators receive training on the latest drug trends

January 6, 2019

CHAPMANVILLE, W.Va. — Faculty and educators from Chapmanville Regional High School were given a training presentation Friday morning on some of the latest drug-related trends in an effort to make them better aware of what to look out for in the classroom and in the community.

Tim White, regional prevention coordinator with the Prestera Center in Huntington, presented information on the latest drug trends that teenagers and young adults are involving themselves with in 2019, including usage of electronic “e-cigarettes,” liquid THC, drugs, alcohol and more. White provided statistics that included what ages teenagers in West Virginia often first try such addictive substances (age 11 for nicotine) and overdose and death rates.

White even delved a little deeper in his presentation, urging the educators to make good use of Urban Dictionary, an online resource that provides “street” meanings to slang words. He claimed that teenagers often send texts to each other in acronym form, such as “PIR” (meaning “parents in room”), and that emojis are being used more and more as code for drug usage and sexting.

He also reminded the staff members that tobacco, drug and alcohol use is illegal on school property and advised them to set a good example.

“What you permit, you promote,” White told the audience. “If we’re not enforcing those with our young people, they see us as adults breaking those rules. That tells them that rules are only rules if you want to obey them.”

White, who is originally from Mercer County in southern West Virginia, majored in criminal justice administration at Marshall University and spent seven years working in community engagement and gang intervention in Duncanville, Texas, a city near both Dallas and Fort Worth. After moving from Texas, he became program manager for a nonprofit group home for abused and battered children in Edmond, Oklahoma, and then worked with military families in Hampton, Virginia.

In 1994, he moved back to West Virginia, working as the drug elimination program manager for the city of Huntington and the Huntington Housing Authority. He then worked for the Huntington Police Department before finally landing at the Prestera Center, the state’s largest provider of behavioral health services, serving the counties of Boone, Cabell, Clay, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Putnam and Wayne.

In Logan County, Prestera started the Logan County Prevention Coalition, which is the official group that held Friday morning’s meeting. Similar trainings have already been held at schools in the Logan area, and after Chapmanville is complete, LCPC hopes to bring White into schools in the Man area as well.

Dylan Vidovich is a news reporter for HD Media. Contact him by phone at 304-896-5196 or follow him on Twitter @DVidovichLB.

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