Students learn to say ‘No thanks’ to alcohol |

Students learn to say ‘No thanks’ to alcohol

Pleasant Valley eighth-graders were taught the importance of saying “No thanks” to drugs and alcohol with a presentation by the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, Community Recovery Resources and Alcohol and Beverage Control Monday afternoon.

During the presentation, Deputy Brandon Corchero talked about the dangers and risks of alcohol use, of drinking and driving and, to the disgust of the students, a photo of bugs found in the bottom of bottles of alcohol.

Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County reported the negative effects of alcohol and drug use and how to avoid peer pressure, and the teen advocacy group NEO discussed alternatives to drug use by mention of the numerous events the organization offers.

The presentation was part of a grant NCSO received from Alcohol and Beverage Control, something Sgt. Sam Brown, who organized the event, said he hopes to be provided in the future to offer these forms of prevention programs.

“Without the extra money from the grant, we can’t do this,” Brown said. “ABC funding us is huge.”

One of the phrases of Coalition for a Drug-Free Nevada County is “Most Teens Don’t,” which is meant to debunk the idea that most teens partake in drugs and alcohol. Part of the presentation asked students to guess the percent of teens in Nevada County who have never smoked marijuana, which the audience was surprised to find was 72 percent.

“We think dispelling misperception is the key to changing our community,” said Melissa Kelley, prevention advocate for Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County. “In order to do that, you have to get in at a young age and tell them that not everybody is doing this.”

Katy Jamison, an eighth-grade teacher, said the presentation is beneficial for the students, who will enter high school soon.

“It is so important for them to be mindful of all the different choices they’ll be facing,” Jamison said.

Two representatives from ABC were also part of Corchero’s presentation and mentioned how they go undercover and explained the criminal risks associated with asking an adult to buy alcohol for you and using a fake ID.

“It’s really cool how Nevada County chose to spend some of its grant money to do this,” said Bret Ajax, a state agent with ABC. “Why not try to do early prevention with kids?”

School administrators interested in the presentation can contact Sgt. Brown at 530-470-2718.

“Any time we can be proactive in informing our students about good choices to make as they’re growing up is a positive thing,” said Teena Corker, principal of Pleasant Valley School. “We’re so much in favor of any time we can work together collaboratively with the county agencies. We have to work together as a community.”

To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email or call 530-477-4230.

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