Overall Idaho is winning it's long and persistent battle against the meth epidemic that struck our state over two decades ago. Although it has come to the forefront in recent years as a record number of our youth were falling victim to this terrifying drug there are still many others that continue down the path of addiction through other substances. State wide statistics according to the Idaho state police show that there is a rise in drug related crimes and arrests in recent years. The anti meth commercials have proven effective but we must look at education through a wider lense and educate the youth of our community on all of the threats they face.
Stepping stones recently implemented the L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1st program which was made possible by Drug Free Idaho and are now beginning stage two with drug awareness and education classes. We believe this to be the most effective way to keep our children safe. Through education they can not only make better decisions but know fully the consequences faced with drug use. Our center director's aim was to familiarize our Wylie center residents with most common drugs and how dealers have begun to market these to younger generations. An example of this include using cool-aid and other flavorings to make ingestible drugs such as meth more palatable for teens and children.
Participants were introduced to the drugs, their effects and most importantly their dangers. Examples were given through video interviews with real addicts and photos of how drugs can ravage the users body. They were also introduced to some of the newer fads such as huffing and over the counter drug abuse that has seen a rise in popularity. They were shown interviews with parents who had lost their own children to these dangerous activity.
Our hope is to not only impact our Wylie center community but also other communities containing Stepping Stones centers. We believe that education will create a ripple effect, children will educate their friends and family and their new knowledge will spread to those who have not benefitted through education.