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
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
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.