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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
October 2, 2002

DEA Promotes Drug Awareness in Rural Georgia

Harry Thornton, the DEA Atlanta Division's public affairs specialist, recently visited Troup County, in rural southwest Georgia. Mr. Thornton, a retired Atlanta police officer, is currently assigned to the Division's Demand Reduction section.

School officials at Troup County Middle School and at J.R. Trippe Middle School expressed a general concern about ecstasy1 use among students. However, most of the officials were not aware of the exact nature of the Rave subculture. This is what Mr. Thornton went to Troup County prepared to discuss. From all indications, DEA's education program at these two schools opened some eyes.

"While there, I spoke to approximately 250 teachers, administrators, and parents about the Rave subculture and the abuse of ecstasy," said Mr. Thornton.

School administrators and teachers found the presentations extremely important and helpful. Mr. Thornton added, "Most were unaware of the pervasiveness of the Rave subculture and possessed little knowledge concerning the potentially lethal consequences of ecstasy abuse."

Mr. Thornton discussed the nature of ecstasy, the paraphernalia surrounding the drug, symptoms of use, and presented an undercover tape of a Rave filmed in New Orleans. "The audience expressed horror at what they saw in the tape," said Mr. Thornton.

As a result of his presentations, Mr. Thornton has been asked to return to J.R. Trippe Middle School in November to speak to 8th Grade students about a range of drug abuse issues.

The Atlanta Division Demand Reduction section, which is responsible for the four-state region of Georgia, Tennessee, and North and South Carolina, speaks to thousands of people a year: educators, businesspeople, coaches, parents, and at various sporting events.

The Division remains committed to reaching as many people as possible about the dangers of drug abuse.

Click here for Administrator Hutchinson's Congressional Testimony, "Ecstasy and Other Club Drugs"

1 Or MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine)

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