THOMAS — Cyn Reneau, Idaho Meth Project Director of Development and Education, presented the downside of meth to the student body at the Snake River Junior High on Tuesday.
Junior high students were asked what they learned.
"It's bad to do drugs," said Luke Clark.
"Drugs will ruin you—your body, your brain and will hurt others," said Ashtyn Martin.
"Say 'no' to drugs," said Jack Thompson.
"I learned a lot—not to do drugs," said Max Hodge.
"If you take meth; it can possible kill you." said Mylie Capson.
"The word that comes to mind is reinforcement," said SRJH health teacher Neil Hillman. "She reinforced what we are studying in class.
"We are studying gateway drugs in our curriculum right now," he said.
"[Reneau] said she knew of only two people who started their meth addiction when they were sober—herself and one other man," said Hillman. "Beer, tobacco are gateway drugs."
(Reneau said that of all the other meth addicts she knows, most of them said they were either drunk, stoned or high on pills when they first tried meth.)
Asked why he brought in an Idaho Meth Project speaker, SRJH principal Roger Thomas said. "We are kicking off our red ribbon week. I thought it would be a lot more meaningful to hear about drug abuse and drug awareness from the perspective of someone who has been through it.
"I think her (Reneau's) presentation was beneficial for everyone," he said. "She emphasized the dangers and what [drug use] does to a person's body.
Spirited conversations about drug use took place in health classes [Tuesday] as students discussed her presentation, said Thomas.
"Don't start a habit; then you don't have to break it," said Reneau.
She went over some of the ingredients in meth and then asked, "Why would anyone put that in your body?"
"Meth affected me from the first use," she said. "Meth inhibited me from making good decisions.
"I went from being a meth user to a meth dealer in 100 days," said Reneau. "Plus I used a whole lot of other drugs.
"On day 100, 31 undercover agents burst into my house; they were at every door and window—shouting 'Get down—police," she said. "My 6-year-old daughter was home [at the time of my arrest]. Observing her, I immediately knew that my excuse of 'I'm not hurting anyone but me—it's my life,' was a lie.
"My other daughter, a seventh grader at the time, arrived home in time to see her mother handcuffed and put into the back seat of a police cruiser," said Reneau.
"One in five Idaho families deal with addiction," she said. "Their choices do not have to be your choices."
"My older daughter never lost sight of the fact she wanted to go to college—not prison," said Reneau.
Her daughter is currently a junior in Rexburg.
Some advice Reneau offered to the 259 students gathered in the auditorium included:
° If you know of a friend who is using and he/she tells you, "don't tell;" your silence enables us because we translate your silence as approval.
° If you are somewhere where you are offered any type of drug, calling home or calling another adult may be your safest option, said Reneau.
The Idaho Meth Project is a statewide program that emphasizes "Meth—not even once."