Police chief warns CHS students about dangers of drugs - Republic-Times | News

Police chief warns CHS students about dangers of drugs

By on August 22, 2012 at 8:02 pm


Friday was the first day back from summer break for students at Columbia High School, and Police Chief Joe Edwards made sure it was a memorable one.

During a morning all-school assembly in the gym, Chief Edwards offered sobering numbers in support of his assertion that illegal drugs, including heroin, are becoming more prevalent in Monroe County.

Columbia police have made 13 arrests this year for possession of a controlled substance, up from six such arrests during all of 2011.

In addition, Edwards said his department has made eights arrests for delivery of a controlled substance so far in 2012. There were no such arrests in Columbia last year.

On the Columbia EMS side, Edwards said emergency personnel responded to five overdose or drug overdose related calls in 2011. Through July 31 of this year, that number has more than tripled with 17 such calls.

“This is a concern,” Edwards told the students.

The numbers for those in Monroe County currently seeking treatment for various drug addictions are also astonishing.

Edwards said there are nine people taking steps to treat crack cocaine addictions, two for methamphetamine, 35 for cannabis and 24 for heroin.

The chief then displayed to students the photo of a female Triad High School student who died of a heroin overdose last year.

“She tried heroin one time… and she died,” Edwards said as students stared in silence.

He then pointed out last year’s heroin overdose death of a Columbia man and subsequent federal charges filed against a Dupo man for providing him with the deadly drug.

“These things can, and do, happen here,” Edwards warned.

The increased illegal use of prescription drugs is also a concern locally, Edwards added.

In closing, the chief stressed that police will work very hard with the school district to make sure it remains drug free.

“Every person in this gym today is too important,” Edwards said.

Prior the chief’s message, new CHS principal Jason Dandurand welcomed all students and challenged them to “live up to the expectations to be the best you can be.”

He also urged them to get involved in athletics, clubs and other CHS activities such as band.

“It’s an opportunity to make your family proud of you,” he said. “Seize the opportunity and take advantage of it.”

Teryn Schaefer

Teryn was born and raised in Waterloo, growing up watching local sports and Mon-Clair baseball. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri Journalism School and loves cheering on her Tigers any chance she gets.