Stephen Dewey, a neuroscientist who studies the effects of drugs abuse on the brain, spoke and offered a heartbreaking presentation about adolescent drug use at Kings Park High School. He shared with listeners the deadly aftermath of drug abuse. There were about 120 participants including grandparents, parents and pre-teens.
Dewey spoke to the parents about the immeasurable effects of losing a child and it is even sadder when it could have been avoided through offering more educational resources. Dewey’s work has resulted in appearances on 20/20, Dateline and other prominent programs.
Today's Drugs are Stronger and Different Than Older Times
Dewey explains to his audience that today's drugs are much different than drugs from the Woodstock era. In addition, there wasn't much research on how these drugs damaged the brain back then. When you factor in the opiate epidemic everything changes full circuit.
Dewey says he has never seen anything skyrocket quite like opiate abuse has. Statistics indicate that half of all kids will try an opiate for non-medical reasons. He also tells parents that the dangers are right at home in most medicine cabinets and in no time use escalates to heroin use because it is cheaper and the high lasts longer.
Dewey doesn't mince words and also talks about how today’s craze of energy drinks is also damaging these kids’ hearts and brains. Other crazes that kids are experimenting with are shared. Parents learn that some kids try eyeballing, which is ingesting alcohol through their eyeballs so it cannot be detected on their breath. He also shares riveting pictures of the before and after of methamphetamine abuse.
Most grandparents and parents agreed that the situation is much worse than they ever imagined and stated that they planned to talk to their kids about it. Dewey pleads with parents that this is all preventable through education. Dewey conducted a study on 200 pot smokers and 71% were found to have meth in their system. Those that tested positive for meth said they never took meth.
More Anti-Drug Programs and Education Can Prevent Drug Use
The only way to reduce the risk factors is to get involved. This is what Dewey hopes to encourage with his school presentations. He gets his information straight from the kids. After the presentations, most schools decide to continue on with the program.