18 Jul Drug Training in Ohio
On Saturday, July 12, 2014, the Franklin County Municipal Court auditorium played host to Operation Street Smart, presented by a couple of officers with the D.A.R.E Special Investigation Unit of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, and sponsored by the Community and Court Interpreters of Ohio (ccio.org). Don’t sweat; if you missed it they have a webpage: http://sheriff.franklincountyohio.gov/programs/operation-street-smart-drug-education.cfm. You can also follow them on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Operation-Street-Smart/231077473571499. While the officers provided all kinds of useful information, me, I took a pleasant trip down memory lane.
It was about ‘86, ‘87. I was in the 5th grade. I remember my D.A.R.E. officer even more than I remember anything she spoke about back then. Maybe it was a tactic; get a beautiful young officer to go speak to these youngsters about drugs and they’ll focus on the officer and not on the drugs. I’ll leave her name out of it, not because I don’t remember it, but out of respect for her public service back then. I kind of remember a big plastic case with a clear cover. It had a different type of drug in each compartment with a label containing its name. I sort of remember stumbling over the pronunciation of chemicals whose names I was pronouncing for the first time. Well, sort of; 30 year old memories may be a lil’ bit hazy.
At Saturday’s training, there were some exhibit tables set up with all kinds of drugs and paraphernalia. Who knows where it all came from? Actually, they did show slides of some of the busts where the materials were confiscated. They had also purchased a bunch from paraphernalia shops also known as head shops. They’d sealed up all the hard drugs, like those that could seep through pores in the skin, but we were allowed to pick things up to take a better look and take pictures. I thought I took a nice pic of a 50 cal. round that converts into a pipe, but once I got home, it was just a pitch black image stored on my phone.
The officers began with concealment. They showed us how pretty much any object can be used as a stash safe. It makes their job that much harder, since they really have to focus on every detail of every object whenever they are at a scene. Their dogs at least get them in the ballpark. They moved on to talk about alcohol, then other substances. As they presented, they passed around some of the safes, drugs and other materials. They seemed to have a nice system to recover every item they passed around; not like any interpreter was gonna thieve anything, but safety first.
It was great to cover this material a few decades later and realize how my vocabulary and comprehension had expanded. I added a decent amount to my drug slang/pharmaceutical terminology repertoire. Now I know that if I hit one of my friends with the phrase “I like that honey dip, home-skillet” they’ll know I’m pulling out some old slang to be humorous, and to reference their relation to me and a female who I happen to find pleasing to the eye. If I use the same line at a head shop, I may or may not get kicked out for referencing a glass water pipe used to smoke marijuana which has been processed with butane. You can’t use the actual drug terms at a head shop; pipes and product people, pipes and product.
The presentation materials also included websites with more information on drugs; a good resource for interpreters and translators. One in particular, www.erowid.org , is supposed to be particularly valuable when it comes to terminology and adding onto our drug glossaries.
It was a great turnout. I always enjoy getting together with my professional friends and colleagues as we work to strengthen our vocabulary, skills and the profession. Some of us crossed the street afterward for some lunch and camaraderie. That was a blast as well. Hopefully these little tidbits give you a sense of the informative training and the good time had by all.