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May 11, 2017

EMT shares important information on drug abuse with Chicopee educators

REGIONAL
By Julie Beaulieu

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Presenter Eric Stratton shows how everyday items can be used to conceal drugs. Photo by Jen Lopez, Pope Francis HS

Presenter Eric Stratton shows how everyday items can be used to conceal drugs. Photo by Jen Lopez, Pope Francis High School

CHICOPEE — Teachers and parents of students at Pope Francis High School (PFHS) attended a substance abuse prevention workshop entitled, “Drugs: From Streets to Schools,” at Veritas auditorium on the Our Lady of the Elms College campus in Chicopee on May 10.

Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos organized the workshop and invited parents, teachers and administrators from all three Chicopee based high schools.

Prior to the workshop, drug paraphernalia and personal items, such as lipstick, deodorant, hairspray, water bottles and soda cans, used to conceal drugs were on display.

Leslie Perreault, health and wellness teacher at PFHS, said it’s important to address current issues with her students.

“Our program tonight is part of a series of programs that we did at Pope Francis and last week we had a health and wellness fair. We had 20 groups come in from the community to bring information to our students. Through the city of Chicopee, the Health Department and the ADAPT (Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Training) group, our nurse and our administration, the kids got to go around and talk to people and find out about resources available to them in many different areas including information on the opioid epidemic,” said Perreault.

“Eric Stratton (presenter) is very good in that he shows you what you should be looking for if you kids, or as a teacher. These are things you might see in a back pack, in a bedroom, and the fact that you can hide things which are hidden in plain sight, we should be aware of that and know what to look for,” added Perreault.

Eric Stratton, presenter, S.T.S. Consulting, is also an area emergency medical technician. Photo by Jen Lopez, Pope Francis High School.

Eric Stratton, presenter, S.T.S. Consulting, is also an area emergency medical technician. He alerted parents to some drug lingo, how drugs are taken, and how illegal drugs can be purchased. He shared videos that teens and young adults have posted online of themselves making and doing drugs.

“Over the years I have collected information and collected paraphernalia so that I could teach others in law enforcement, EMS (Emergency Medical Services) and the public what heroin and drug paraphernalia look like. I still work the field so I respond to the overdoses and I see the effects of drugs on people and I’m just trying to share the information with others,” said Stratton.

Stratton said that two good websites for parents and adults to check are erowid.org and tumbler.com.

Also the Massachusetts Substance Abuse Information and Education Helpline is 1-800-327-5050 or log on to helpline-online.com