Departments, Public Issues

SWC Participates in Drug Awareness Council

The Mission of the Forsyth County Drug Awareness Council is to educate, advocate, and empower the community to prevent substance abuse across the lifespan in Forsyth County, Georgia. The council is partnering with Emory in helping with materials, forming start up committees, and will be presenting at SWC’s February meeting.

Dr. Norton, of UGA, who was the key note speaker at one of the drug summits and is widely known as a leader in the field, is in the process of editing a video series. This will be used to educate parents and there is one for youth too.
We were asked by Athens and are hosting the GPDAPC – Georgian Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Collaborative on February 28.

The county is seeking to amend its alcohol ordinance, or change the code, to make the “mom and pop” stores not want to sell their thinly veiled drug paraphernalia. By tying it to their ability to obtain and maintain a county license to sell alcohol you effect their income and hopefully their desire to sell these items all together. Currently they are supposed to keep these items behind the counter and out of sight. They are not and there are loopholes. In one store a hookah pipe is on full display, but with fruit on it – it is no longer called a hookah pipe. If the code is changed it is believed that they will not want to risk losing their license.

Michael Williams is after more regulation of the Vape shops. He is introducing legislature to do so. These ” juices” that they are vaping are not FDA regulated and anything can, and often is, added to them. Vaping is such a lucrative business that Big Tobacco and the Adult Entertainment industry are now heavily involved in the business.
The Council will be well represented at the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit and SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) held in Atlanta this April. At this time there are 5 of the council members committed to attending.

Several committees are forming and have formed within the council. I am a part of the Youth Development Committee. The Virtual Resource Center Committee got started yesterday. In February The Alcohol Committee will start up and in March the Marijuana Committee begins meeting. The Council meets the first Wed of each month at 8 am at the United Way of Forsyth County on Elm street in Cumming. We welcome new members that are willing to share their time and resources.

Our presenter for yesterday’s meeting was Deputy First Class, Thomas Little – Instructor – Training Section, SWAT, Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office. The takeaways were:

  • Marijuana is the most common used drug in Forsyth County.
  • Meth is making a comeback, but is no longer being produced like it used to be in this county.
  • Prescription drugs – Oxy and Roxy codone, Xanax, and Percocet and loratab are widely abused which often leads to Heroin usage which is one of the biggest problems facing Forsyth County.
  • Cocaine usage isn’t seen as much and is usually more of a social drug done in spurts.
  • Ectasy is making a comeback in Forsyth.

Little then went on to show us all the often hidden signs of drug use for each of the categories of drugs and showed us unique ways that it is being disguised in containers and ways that ordinary household items are being used. It was eye opening. Some of the stores are selling empty little bear capsules ( think gummy bears). These are being bought by distributors and filled with drugs like ecstasy and sold and given out at school and parties. He pointed out that the courthouse shooter was a 40 year heavy marijuana user and whippet user (nitrous oxide).

On January 21 Harmony Grove Baptist Church is having their annual Men’s addiction pancake breakfast at 8am. It is open to women and you may attend as long as you RSVP.