Drug expert offers parents advice for teenagers

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 26, 2000

Gang expert Keith Rhodes had an ominous message for parents Thursday at the Natchez-Adams School District Safe School Rally.

Gang activity &uot;knows no color line and no social line,&uot; he said.

Parents need to know how to determine if their child is involved in gang or drug activity, he said

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Signs include the use of gang writings, symbols, tattoos and hand signals and wearing clothing that signifies gangs, much of which children in the audience already knew.

During the rally, parents watched tapes on gang activity, including one filmed in the unlikely place of Omaha, Neb.

Parents also watched a video on changes in the drug culture.

Dropping grades, changes in behavior or changes in friends are not the only signs of drug use parents need to know.

With the increase of all-night parties known as raves, parents should also notice if their children are carrying vapor rub, pacifiers, blow pops or hospital masks — all items used by people on ecstasy.

And drug users often hide their pills in resealed miniature candy bags.

To help combat juvenile problems, Rhodes said parents need to learn the impact their actions have on their children, in what he refers to as a delinquent parent problem.

He also warned a group of choir students from Morgantown and McLaurin elementary schools to act smart and keep their priorities straight, because not doing well in school increases their changes of going to prison.