Drug pamphlet educates residents
Like many cities, Orlando, Fla., had experienced an increase in drug use over the past few years. “We’d had a rise in the use of certain kinds of drugs; we had an alarming rate of date rapes reported; and parents were giving us calls wanting to know about drugs and raves,” says Amy Pierce, detective for the Orlando Police Department (OPD). To help combat the problem, the city has published the pamphlet “Drugs Shatter Lives, What You Need to Know … Now.”
Before publishing the pamphlet, members of the Drug Division of the OPD spoke in schools and other venues but realized that a broader medium was necessary to educate parents, teachers, students and residents about drug use. “We always had a lot of questions [at the sessions],” Pierce says. “A lot of people wanted literature, and we decided that parents and our officers needed information. Trends were coming and going so fast that it was hard to train our officers.”
The division used first-hand experience, facts from drug education seminars and information from the Internet to compile the brochure, which was designed by the city’s Department of Communications. In the fall of 2001, the city published 15,000 copies of the pamphlet to distribute to schools, churches and through the community and youth services division. The brochure lists the characteristics of more than 15 types of drugs, providing information on each drug’s appearance, long- and short-term effects, paraphernalia, common names and typical signs of usage. The pamphlet also contains information on how to detect drug use and how to report its suspected use.
The brochure has been a success, with requests for copies coming in from all over the nation, Pierce says. “We just wanted to start an open dialogue with, parents and teachers, and get to a certain level of awareness in the community,” she says.
For more information, visit the city’s Web site at cityoforlando.net.