Lubbock Community Outreach Forum focuses on substance abuse prevention
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A long-time law enforcement officer and instructor for substance abuse prevention was in the Hub City Wednesday evening for the Lubbock Community Outreach Forum.
Officer Jermaine Galloway spoke at the forum hosted by the City of Lubbock Municipal Court, the Lubbock County Juvenile Justice Center and Lubbock ISD.
The ‘Tall Cop Says Stop’ officer, Galloway spent more than 20 years in law enforcement and has been fighting underage alcohol and drug abuse for more than 18 years. He’s an internationally recognized instructor on trends in drug and alcohol culture.
He calls his training a 360 view of the drug world in an hour and a half. Although he’s in several states each week, he adjusts his message for each area.
“We will talk about cannabis products. We will talk about vape pens. We will talk about vapes and cannabis, we’ll talk about methamphetamine in vape pens,” Galloway said. “There’s things that also I found in shops in Lubbock too, so I’m gonna show, I’m gonna highlight things that I know that they sell here. So, we’ll talk about stuff in your own backyard.”
Galloway’s motto is, “You can’t stop what you don’t know.”
“The more you can do on the prevention side, the less you have to do on the enforcement side. That means less people in prison, less people in jail, less people get hurt, less people who die. So, that’s really what it comes to. It doesn’t mean it stops all of it, but it sure does reduce it,” Galloway said.
Lynette Hollis, the Prevention Resource Center supervisor for Region 1, says vaping is a big issue for teens right now.
“The problem that we’re seeing the most is that kids can have them at school. A lot of times they’ll pass one vape in between several students, so it’s less likely that they’ll get caught with it. They’re vaping other substances in it; it’s not just nicotine,” Hollis said.
The PRC was just one of several community partners at the forum. Genesis St. Clair was there with HEARD, or Helping Every Adolescent Reach Their Dreams. She says it’s important for students to get involved in prevention.
“If the students that are living it every day and see it every day can really get out there and speak to their peers, that makes the most difference, because it’s not just adults talking at them, it’s their peers talking to them,” St. Clair said.
Galloway had one main piece of advice for parents - take the small stuff seriously.
“Everything starts small. No one starts off using heroin first. No one starts off using meth first. No one starts off using fentanyl, it doesn’t start like that, no one does. It starts small and sometimes I hear parents say, ‘Well at least they’re not doing this,’ but not realizing that it starts with the small stuff and ends with this,” Galloway said.
Community partners like the PRC and HEARD are always available to provide resources or answer questions. Their office information can be found on the City of Lubbock website here.
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