WTCSB focuses on alcohol, drug prevention

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 28, 2005

Suffolk News-Herald

In another decade, King’s Fork Middle School students will be old enough to drink legally.

But if the Western Tidewater Community Service Board has its way, the kids still won’t touch America’s most popular drug.


Email newsletter signup

On Friday afternoon, board member Kathleen Sanders visited the school to discuss the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.

&uot;Some people think that marijuana is good because it’s natural,&uot; she said. &uot;But crack cocaine comes from poppy plants, and LSD comes from fungus. Just because something’s natural, it doesn’t mean it’s good. Smoking one joint is like smoking 100 cigarettes.

&uot;Alcohol is linked to all sorts of cancers,&uot; she said. &uot;Alcohol converts to sugar, which feeds cancer. Just like a car needs fuel to go, cancer needs sugar. About 50 percent of all automobile fatalities are caused by alcohol.&uot;

Sanders took out a pair of goggles. Called &uot;Fatal Vision,&uot; the tool was built to help people see what happens when a person has a few too many drinks. It blurs the viewer’s vision, causing dizziness and instability.

&uot;You couldn’t hardly see nothing,&uot; said Joseph McPherson, one of several students who attempted to walk a straight line wearing the goggles and was unable to do so. &uot;I don’t know what it would be like if I’d had some drinks.&uot;

&uot;I thought I’d be able to walk straight,&uot; said Maggie McKean, 12. &uot;But when I put the goggles on, the line looked curved. If you drink too much and get into an accident, you can probably go to jail for a long time.&uot;

During her own years in the classroom, Sanders saw firsthand the dangers of alcohol – one of her high school classmates died of alcohol poisoning.

&uot;People might think, ‘I’m young, so I have nothing to worry about,’&uot; she said. &uot;But heart disease can start at age two. You need to start taking care of yourselves now.

&uot;There’s not a dietician with half a brain that would tell you to eliminate an entire food group,&uot; she said, referring to the Atkins diet, which dictates that dieters eliminate carbohydrates. &uot;Carbs are good! You need them to fight disease.

&uot;Soda dehydrates you, and you can’t think when you’re dehydrated.&uot;