As part of a recent lesson, Deputy Briscoe spoke to Living Environment classes at CHS concerning heroin use in Columbia County. The students have been studying addiction and its effects on the body. Deputy Briscoe talked about the dramatic rise in overdoses our area has seen and how “bad batches” of heroin and fentanyl, a far more potent opioid, are often to blame.
“Heroin is not safe. You could do it for the first time and die, or you could do it for the 100th time and die,” Deputy Brisoe said, adding that opioid addiction affects all levels of our society. “It can happen anywhere to anyone. It’s all walks of life, we see it all over.”
She shared how NARCAN, a drug that reverses the effects of opiate overdoses, can save lives if administered in time. She said she and other first responders carry NARCAN and that it is also available over-the-counter from pharmacies.
“I’ve actually brought somebody back with it,” Deputy Briscoe told the students, adding, “I’ve also used it and it was too late.”
She made sure everyone in the room was aware of New York’s 911 Good Samaritan Law, which allows anyone to call 911 for help without the fear of prosecution in the event they have an overdose from drugs or alcohol, or see someone overdosing.
Prior to Deputy Briscoe’s visit, students completed two labs dealing with addiction, made posters on the pros and cons of NARCAN, and prepared questions for Deputy Briscoe. Along with learning how drugs affect receptors in the brain, students gained awareness of the real-life threat that addiction poses and the severity of the problem here in Columbia County.
“They are not just seeing it on paper, but actually making a real-life connection,” explained CHS science teacher Brooke Kneller, who also said that the lesson tied in with our District’s wellness goals and served to help students feel comfortable talking to Deputy Briscoe if they ever have any concerns.