Student participants and volunteers in the Drug Story portray the emergency room scene

Drug Story warns sixth-graders

By Brandi Miller / For the FCT

April 19, sixth-grade students across Franklin County had the opportunity to attend a program called Drug Story held at Red Bay Freewill Baptist Church.

Drug Story is a program to educate students about the risks and consequences associated with drug abuse.

“The reason we target sixth-grade students is because peer pressure begins around this age group,” said Dr. Kay Hargett, sponsor of the program.

Hargett has been in charge of the Drug Story program since 2005 and said it’s a crucial message that is being delivered to students at a critical point in their lives.

“It is a very important program to reach young students before they are introduced to drugs,” said Hargett. “If the program only reaches one student, then it is well worth the effort.”

During the program, students are taken through seven different scenes that tell the story of a person who steals and uses drugs – and the consequences associated with the abuse of drugs.

The scenes begin with a student stealing drugs and subsequently being arrested. The student is then taken through the process of being fingerprinted, booked into jail and going before Judge Paula McDowell and district attorney Joey Rushing. The student is placed on probation.

In the next scene the student attends a party and overdoses. An ambulance is called, and the student is then transported to an emergency room, where resuscitation attempts are unsuccessful.

In scene six, students attend a funeral in the church sanctuary.

The program ends with a debriefing by the parent of the deceased student. The parent informs the students about the horrible consequences associated with drug abuse.

The Drug Story program is funded through donations and grant money. Hargett said a lot of effort goes into making it a success.

“There is lots of work involved in this program,” said Hargett, “setting up the date and time, arranging for volunteers and student workers, sending out invites to schools, et cetera.”

Hargett thanked McDowell, Rushing, Kevin Strickland, Steve Lindsay and David Corum for their involvement. “I would also like to thank the volunteers, Mrs. Katrine Moore, Phoebee Harrison, Carolyn Barksdale, Krista Scott, Patrick Brooks, Dr. Jacqueline Parsons, Georgia Jeffreys, Elizabeth Hill, Sharon Strickland, the Red Bay Police Department and Melanie Dickens.”

Hargett said more than 400 sixth-grade students attended this year’s program.

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