Drug Awareness Seminar

By Mary O’ KEEFE

A drug awareness meeting for members of the Korean community was held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in La Crescenta on Sunday night.

“I was interviewed by a [Korean paper] and then was contacted by members of the church,” said Alex Woo, member of the Crescenta Valley Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalition.

Woo was interviewed on his role in the coalition and how drugs are affecting the local youth.

The coalition is a grassroots effort to bring awareness to parents and kids about drugs and alcohol use.

“I thought this was a great idea,” Woo said of the seminar.

A Los Angeles County Sheriff representative had been contacted to speak at the seminar but at the last minute had to decline,  Woo said.

“So I called [Glendale Officer] Joe Allen to fill in,” he added.

Allen has presented a drug awareness seminar many times to many different audiences.  He spoke through an interpreter at the Sunday night meeting.

Allen’s presentation included common household items kids use to get high such as air cans and whip cream canisters.   They inhale the chemical gases from the compressed cans.  This is inhalant abuse or huffing.

He explained how heroin is smoked and what parents can look for.

“They heat the heroin on the foil and inhale the smoke,” Allen said.

Using DVD’s of young users explaining their addictions and props of paraphernalia he told the audience how clever and dangerous the kids can be when they are addicted.

He told the audience the best defense against drug use is informed parents.

“You don’t need to be their friend, you need to be their parent,” he said. “Know where you kids are and who their friends are.  Check up on them.”

The audience listened and asked questions.

“I think it was well received,” Woo said. “They are hoping to do more of these [types of seminars] in the future.”