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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  Crime Watch OPP - Racing Against Drugs Event A Success In Elgin

Crime Watch

PC Adam Crewdson, OPP
OPP  Racing Against Drugs Event A Success In Elgin

Elgin County, ON - The Elgin County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) along with the racing against drugs committee would like to thank all the community partners for their efforts.

This year's racing against drugs event ran from May 8-12 2017 at the Port Stanley Arena. It brought in grade 5 students from all across the County of Elgin and St. Thomas. Over 650 students were able to gain valuable safety information before the summer break.

Students spent either the morning or afternoon going through a total of 10 pit stops. Each pit stop had information specific to that organization.

At the pit stop by the Fire Services of St. Thomas and Central Elgin, students learned to recognize fire hazards using the Fire Hazard House and how drugs, alcohol and tobacco increase the risk of fire.

The London Health Sciences Centre - Trauma Program pit stop provided information about the medical consequences and dangers of alcohol and drug misuse through the experience of a trauma centre dealing with severe injuries in youth. Students saw a brain model to see how drugs and alcohol affect different aspects of brain functioning. A tic tac toe game provided questions about drugs, alcohol, and making smart choices. This pit stop was generously supported by the Children's Health Foundation.

The pit stop of Addiction Services of Thames Valley had the students use an interactive Plinko game designed to provide facts about substance use including: the effects of drugs, alcohol use, harm reduction, withdrawal and the potential impacts on health. The students were provided with information to increase their awareness and knowledge about the risks associated with substance abuse.

Elgin County OPP provided a pit stop focusing on alcohol and drug awareness and information for youth.

The OPP Aboriginal pit stop provided a message of RESPECT - Respect for the Earth, Parents, Teachers, Grandparents and Oneself.

The Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre provided a pit stop where the students learned about the role of Corrections in the Justice system, and what happens to offenders after they have been arrested and sent to jail. included in the presentation were visual images of the detention centre interior and a re-creation of a jail cell.

Victim Services Elgin provided a pit stop focusing on being Strong, Smart and Safe about personal boundaries on the internet, and around adults and fellow students. Students participated in an interactive questionnaire game to learn about what personal boundaries are, who is a safe adult, and when to confide in a safe adult. The students received a greater knowledge of their personal boundaries, and what to do if they or someone they know is not feeling safe.

At the pit stop offered by Elgin St. Thomas EMS, students learned the dangers and addictive qualities of prescription drugs, and how abusing them is both harmful and illegal. As well, the paramedics used real life examples of how the misuse of prescription and over the counter medications can lead to serious illness and even death.

At a second Addiction Services of Thames Valley pit stop, the students learned about youth problem gambling through an interactive race car game. Over 45,000 youth in Ontario have a gambling problem. The students learned what activities are considered gambling while some false beliefs were dispelled. Also explored were the ideas of odds and randomness since youth often believe the odds of winning at a gambling activity are 50/50. Students will have a better understanding of this concern for our younger populations.

The St. Thomas Police Service provided an interactive presentation covering subjects relating to strangers and strange vehicles, being aware of their surroundings, checking out rooms and buildings for exits and having a plan to leave, youth at malls, and the impact of names on backpacks.

The Racing Against Drugs Coalition would like to thank our pit stop presenters for their presentations, our volunteers for their many hours of work, the Thames Valley Board of Education and the London District Catholic Schools for their ongoing support of the program. Special thanks to the Municipality of Central Elgin and their staff for the venue, and the Optimist Clubs of Elgin County for their support of this and many other programs for youth, and finally to the great people at Tim Horton's who kept all the staff and presenters going throughout the week.

Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 June 2017 15:34:36 PM EST

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