OUS to host ‘Street Smart’ program


IRONTON — Ohio University Southern (OUS), 1804 Liberty Avenue, Bowman Auditorium in Ironton will host a ‘Street Smart’ Adult Drug Education Program on Tuesday, Jan. 19, from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission to the program is free.

The presentation will be conducted by staff of the Franklin County, Ohio Sheriff’s Office. The Street Smart program was established in 2002 and been presented over 1,500 times by the staff members who will appear in Ironton. In 2004 the program received the F.B.I. Director’s Community Leadership Award.

The Street Smart is geared toward education awareness with targeted audiences being parents, foster care providers, substance abuse providers, educators, etc. The goal is to provide updated trends on terminology, paraphernalia, concealment techniques and physiological effects to those individuals who deal with today’s youth on a daily basis.

James Stephens, Director/Lecturer Law Enforcement Technology at OUS, said the award-winning presentations of the program provide people with the knowledge for early intervention of drug addiction.

“The group that is coming has won some really nice awards for their presentations. Basically, we want to take an opportunity to educate the public because what you find with these drug issues is that oftentimes the people that are able to thwart, stop or intervene early in these addictions really don’t know what to look for,” Stephens said. “They don’t know the current trends, they don’t even know what it looks like sometimes. They don’t know the effects on people.”

Educating the community is the goal of the OUS Criminal Justice Department.

“So our goal is to really educate individuals for early intervention. Family members, pastors, teachers, anyone that is around someone that could become addicted, and you know anyone could become addicted, so that really includes everyone,” Stephens said.

Stephens said they welcome ideas from members of the community, which are necessary for overall success.

“We are looking for suggestions for other needs in the community as it pertains to law enforcement, that we could assist through the college,” Stephens said. “I was in law enforcement for 20 years and I understood completely the role of the public in our jobs, and it would be no different than where I am at now, having people there to share ideas, to make things better for our community because that is what we are all working towards to turn it into a better community, a better nation, and better world.”

Past attendees have included school resource staff, educators and school administrators, school board members, probation officers, school nurses, juvenile prosecutors and children service employees. During the event the staff, with more than fifty years of experience combined, will include actual examples of designer street drugs, common abused drugs and current paraphernalia.

Tim Sexton, Instructor, Law Enforcement Technology at OUS, said the program offers a wealth of information pertaining to drugs and their effects.

“I think that having a session like this is so important because of the drug epidemic that still reigns here in the Tristate, Appalachian area,” Sexton said. “We’ve seen it pass from the crack cocaine, to the pill problem, to the heroin problem, now it’s the synthetic drug problem. I think it is very important that people try become more aware of the different types of drugs, the different effects that they have on people, and even the packaging of the synthetic drugs. This is certainly what this program will assist them with.

Sexton also said the Street Smart program will impress attendees.

“It is a very good program for probation officers, and even parents to come and learn what possibly could be in their own home,” Sexton said. “It is a free program, and I think that everyone that comes out to attend it will be impressed.”

For more information regarding the Street Smart program, contact Traci Tillis, OUS Director Marketing, Public Relations and Special Initiatives 740-533-4656, or by email at: [email protected]. Additionally, inquiries may emailed to James Stephens at: [email protected] or Tim Sexton at:[email protected].

By Portia Williams

[email protected]

Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.

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