Byrnes Mill Police Chief Frank T. Selvaggio wants to educate people about the signs of drug abuse.
Selvaggio is hosting a presentation on current drug trends at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, at Spring Hill Church, 6247 Upper Byrnes Mill Road, in Byrnes Mill.
A deputy from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office will give a presentation, and Comtrea staff members will be on hand with resources.
Selvaggio said several incidents led him to plan the event.
A few weeks ago one officer caught two teens “dabbing,” which means they were smoking concentrated THC extracted from cannabis. Those who smoke “dabs” vaporize it using high heat in order to inhale it.
“That’s apparently very dangerous and has caused fires in homes,” Selvaggio said.
He said dabbing also could result in people burning their esophagus and lungs.
“I’m concerned about any kids getting hurt, and it kind of hits a little bit more home when it’s somebody in your own community,” Selvaggio said.
After that, Byrnes Mill Police officers responded to an overdose death, Selvaggio said.
“It (a presentation about drugs) needs to be done, but it’s just the recent events have kind of brought it to the forefront,” he said. “I am very concerned for the community. I hope somebody can learn something from this.”
Selvaggio said the Jan. 16 presentation is open to anyone, not just Byrnes Mill residents.
“We’re trying to do something to help the community, inform them a little bit about what drugs are out there, what some of the drugs are called now, some of the things to look for that your kids might be doing, some of their behaviors, some of their actions,” Selvaggio said.
He encourages parents to attend.
“I’ve been a policeman almost 39 years and there’s drugs out there I don’t know,” Selvaggio said. “So, I know there are drugs out there that parents aren’t aware of. So, if we can kind of help them learn some of these things, we might save one of these kids.”