Kids are learning about the dangers of drugs and alcohol at an early age in our area. One program is reaching out to elementary school students getting across the message to “just say no.”
Fifth graders aren't old enough to buy alcohol, or for that matter even have a driver's license, but they know what alcohol is.
DEP Jones says there's a reason for that.
Jones says, "They see a lot of things every day in their neighborhoods and unfortunately in their homes."
A program in south Georgia schools is trying to stop the problem before it starts., teaching kids the ABCs of drug abuse.
Drug Abuse Resistance Education, DARE, is about teaching kids to make wise decisions when experimenting with drugs and alcohol. They're targeting this particular age group because it's just before their teenage years.
Steven Jones of the Thomas County Sheriff's Office says, "The exit grade of elementary is the prime age to get the information out to them before they get to the middle school where studies show that kids begin experimenting with those kinds of things."
Kids are learning facts about drug use and the consequences of their actions. Jones hopes these kids will take this lesson with them through to their adult years and remember that it's cool to "just say no."
The program is in its eighth year and DEP Jones says it's been very effective. It's funded with money confiscated in local drug busts.