The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

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By Forrest Hershberger
Publisher, Sun-Telegraph 

Make The Right Choice


March 16, 2022 | View PDF

“It's a matter of life or meth.”

The message is simple and straight-forward, and has resulted in a campaign against use of methamphetamines. Nebraska State Patrol Troopers Tim Flick and Brandon Smith were guests at West Elementary School for a presentation on drug use and abuse. The program is through the US Attorney’s Office, Nebraska State Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) of Omaha, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Omaha Division, and the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office.

The talk started with a discussion on what is a drug, what it does and its affect on the body and mind.

Trooper Flick recited from his training that a drug is any substance that can be taken into the body and impair use of motor vehicle. He said it is also defined as any substance that can affect how you think or feel.

An addiction can include side affects. Trooper Flick said a person can be addicted to almost anything. As an example he asked the room of students how many have cell phones, followed by what is the average time between checking alerts on their phones. Trooper Flick said the average time for American cell phone owners is eight minutes between when alerts are checked, indicating significant dependence.

He then asked if anyone has used the phrase “dope.” Dope comes from the word dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, according to webmd. Psychology Today calls it a “feel-good neurotransmitter, a chemical the ferries information between neurons.” Trooper Flick said dopamine is also called a “happy” brain impulse. The problem with addictions, Trooper Flick said, is a person can never return to their initial rush. The addiction develops in an effort to sustain the initial high.

Trooper Flick said with addiction can come depression, self-harm and health issues.

“Drugs can get us to the point we're so depressed we want to hurt ourselves,” he said.

He also said drugs can have an adverse affect on the body: heart, lungs, skin, weight, diabetes and cancer are examples.

Trooper Flick said methamphetamine, commonly known as Meth, is the No. 1 illegal drug in Nebraska. It was once manufactured in the area. Officials now say it is imported from Mexico cheaper than in local labs.

“It is here in mass quantity,” he said.

He added that meth is 95 percent addictive.

“Don't even try it once. Stay away from it,” he said.

He said meth is a “binge drug” that affects a person's Central Nervous System.”

“They (drug addicts) will use it for days at a time,” he said.

Flick said a meth high can last up to 12 hours.


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