Police say teen drug abuse is on the rise in the Desert Southwest, as the number of hospital visits for drug abuse is increasing nationwide. Police say kids are having "pharming" parties; they show up with their pharmaceutical drugs, dump them in a bowl, and have at it. Yuma Police Department School Resource Officer Erick Resendiz held a presentation Wednesday night at City Hall as part of the Yuma Education Series. His message is if you abuse drugs, you're taking your life in your hands.
"We don't want to be responding to your house for an overdose when we can be responding to your house for advice on how to stop it," says Resendiz. Drugs can take a perfectly normal person, and turn them into a zombie. Resendiz says more kids in town are potentially throwing their future down the drain. He says police are seeing "over the counter and prescription drug abuse. Kids are trying any drug, if they have a drug that affects them somehow they think well if I take it more, can it help, will it help me." Resendiz also says more kids are inhaling toxins. Why are they doing drugs? To get high, deal with problems, change their body, help with school work, and a slew of other reasons. Resendiz says kids can find information on how to abuse drugs with the click of a mouse. "There's also experiment websites; sites they (kids) can go on-line that tell them how to abuse these drugs to get better highs safer. They even have rules like they're supposed to have a watcher; someone who can standby them when they're getting high in case something goes wrong." Resendiz says once a kid starts abusing drugs, they'll become a completely different person. Signs and symptoms of look out for: "Changes in behavior, changes in appearance, drastic things that don't normally happen in juveniles. Kids are giving away their belongings, they're losing an inappropriate amount of weight."
Resendiz says you can potentially save a loved ones life by getting them help before it's too late, and also studies show that if you talk to your child about not doing drugs, they'll be more likely to stay away from them. His advice for anyone is "don't even try them, don't even abuse them, don't take them any way, you shouldn't take them unless prescribed by a doctor. If you're already taking them get help, before you get past that addiction point where you can't get help anymore." For more information on Wednesday night's presentation, or for ideas on future presentation topics for the Yuma Educational Series, contact Officer Resendiz at the Yuma Police Department.
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