Only a few people showed up, but those that attended heard from a retired highway patrol lieutenant that parents should have courage and be strong as drugs and alcohol tempt their children.


 


Only a few people showed up, but those that attended heard from a retired highway patrol lieutenant that parents should have courage and be strong as drugs and alcohol tempt their children.

“The most simple thing to understand is that a well-stated problem is over half-solved,” said retired Missouri State Highway Patrol Lt. Ed Moses said. “Even parents getting together and comparing notes is a good self-education tool, but you do have a coalition resource here use it. Become aware and have confidence in what you are seeing and feeling. The worst thing a parent can do is lose their confidence or feel like they can’t take on this issue of the underage drinking, the tobacco smoking or marijuana. 

“Their survival brain is motivated by the love of their child. That’s more important than any big words that a kid knows that makes you think the kid is smarter than the parent. That’s not true, the parent is the smartest one because the parent cares and the parent needs to have the confidence that if it doesn’t feel right, we’re going to find out what’s wrong.”

Moses and current Patrol Public Information Officer Sgt. Mike Watson spoke to a group of about 10 people about the dangers of marijuana and alcohol use among children.

The “Champions Wanting Change” town hall meeting was sponsored by Carthage Caring Communities and McCune-Brooks Regional Hospital and organized by Drug Free Communities Coordinator Robin Standridge.

Watson gave a presentation about what officers see on the streets now while Moses, who served as an undercover drug investigator for the patrol, went into details about how different drugs affect the brain and the impacts on a person’s body.

“It changes the brain and brain-change is a nice term for damage,” Moses said. “It changes your brain in judgment, in decisions, in the thought process in the memory. With the science we have today, there is no debate about what areas marijuana goes to and those areas are affected because they have receptors that the marijuana is affecting. There is no doubt.

Moses said while parents and activists need to speak out against drugs, they need to avoid exaggerating or embellishing to get their point across to people.

He said getting people to care about the problem is difficult, as illustrated by the small turnout at Monday’s town hall meeting, unless people have been directly affected by drugs or alcohol, but its worth it to try.

“I think the good thing during the 1980s was the ‘Just Say No,’ and the Red Ribbon and ‘This is your brain on drugs, egg in a skillet,’ got people’s interest and attention so what we need to do today is get people’s interest and attention,” Moses said. “We will always be at a disadvantage to the legalizers because they deal in buzz words and they don’t have to have the credibility or the information behind them, it just has to sound good. 

“Ours has to be reduced to where it’s easy to understand, it sounds good and it has the credibility. That takes more time and effort so we’re already at a handicap but in the long run, honest and fact always wins out eventually.”