The truth about ecstasy and other drugs
"Taking E is like gambling"
"Caffeine drinks combined with alcohol can be deadly"
The messages are stark, powerful and packaged with funky graphics and the executive director of the PoCoMo Youth Services Society hope they hit home with youth.
A series of nine drug cards, including one with warnings about caffeinated energy drinks, are being circulated among youth to encourage them to make better choices and Jerome Bouvier says the handy post-card style handouts have been well received.
Bouvier developed the cards to appeal to youth while also providing them with the latest information on the short term and long term effects of drugs and alcohol. Teens have been snapping them up since outreach workers began handing them out on the PoCoMo bus that visits Tri-City hangouts to provide youth with support.
"It's just to offer another way to get information out to our young people, it's just education, education and education and the end result, I hope, is for them to make healthier and better choices when it comes to substance use," Bouvier said.
The topics include LSD, Ecstasy or E, marijuana and mushrooms, and resources as well as drug facts are provided with the hope of discouraging their use, or over use.
Bouvier said outreach workers meet all kinds of youth, including those who are experimenting with drugs and alcohol, and he hopes the cards will prompt them to look at the choices they are making.
"It's a great tool, it's a great prop and a way to engage youth in discussion," he said.
PoCoMo will make them available to other agencies interested in using them and will customize them with information about local resources. Langley RCMP has already purchased several cards and Bouvier said he's had inquiries from other agencies as well.
More information is available at www.pocomo.org
A NEW NAME?
Meanwhile, PoCoMo is looking at a new name and rebranding and is asking for public input. Submissions are welcome on the website.
Bouvier said the name is confusing for some who think the bus just operates in Port Coquitlam when in reality it circulates throughout the Tri-Cities.
"It's a rebranding time, were growing and changing and were looking at moving forward and seeing what we can come up with — a different name is part of that."
The group, which runs entirely on donations, posts regularly on Twitter. To find out more, follow @pocomoyouth.