Recognizing that abusing drugs is a choice is taking one step in the right direction, said Mark Woodwork, an officer from the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.
“One thing that is common with everybody we deal with whether it’s a kid, an adult, someone cooking meth, somebody shooting heroin in their neck or somebody popping pills,” he said. “Nobody is putting a gun to their head and making them do it.”
He spoke to a group of 36 attendees at a presentation on drug abuse in Oklahoma on April 9.
Woodwork is a law enforcement officer, he said, but he is also a parent and friend to an addict. He said he wants to stop drug abuse in Oklahoma and America as much as any parent would.
No matter if it is the abuse of drugs is by children, teenagers or adults, the abuse affects those families and everyone around them. Two drugs in particular were mentioned throughout the presentation, marijuana, and methamphetamines.
He said more law enforcement is not the solution.
“We can arrest people,” he said. “We are very good at arresting people, but that isn’t going to solve the problem. If you want to solve the drug problem in this country, you have to change their attitude. People right now want to do drugs.”
In his presentation, Woodwork focused on the abuse and popularity of marijuana. The access to this herb is now everywhere, he said, and it isn’t just the real stuff.
There are stores that sell synthetic marijuana that won’t show up on a drug test but still gives the user a high feeling. This item is packaged in innocent card-looking packs with pictures of Scooby-Doo to appeal to a younger consumer, he said.
In a series of slideshow pictures, Woodwork showed the group the devices that drug abusers are using that look like everyday items, such as a highlighter. When pulled apart, in fact, it becomes a pipe.
Woodwork in his presentation encouraged parents to be vigilant.
He said parents should hug their kids when they get home to see if there is a smell of any kind of substance. He said parents should notice unusual behavior such as mood swings or a drastic change in attitude.
Also in his slideshow, Woodward showed pictures of children abused by parents who were high. He had also showed the group the ingredients used to make meth and, surprisingly, the items aren’t too hard to find.
In fact, some of these items are found in common kitchens and garages. One such item was Drano. He advised the group that if anyone had an overabundance of such an item, that it should be reported for further investigation.