Log In

Reset Password
News Education Local News Nation & World New Mexico

Pagosa Middle School students participate in anti-drug education class

National nonprofits attempt to bring narcotics and violence learning opportunities to Southwest Colorado
School Resource Officer Dylaina Gauvey of the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office. Gauvey leads Pagosa Springs Middle School students through L.E.A.D’s drug and violence education program. (Courtesy of Dustin English)

Archuleta School District and Law Enforcement Against Drugs and Violence have teamed up to educate students about the dangers of drug use.

On Jan. 22, 70 Pagosa Springs Middle School students participated in one of LEAD’s programs. LEAD is a nonprofit organization that works with communities to help students learn about the dangers of drugs and violence.

It is a 10-week program centered around students making positive life decisions.

Opioids have been a topic of discussion in recent years because of heightened use during the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergence of drugs like fentanyl have made headlines because of fatalities and overdoses related to the opioid epidemic.

Data from the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health indicates that Colorado is ranked the seventh worst state for drug use in 2020. While the pandemic is mostly in the rearview mirror, the lasting impacts of addiction are still being felt by youths.

Attorney General Philip Wesier’s Colorado Substance Abuse Trend and Response Taskforce 2023 Annual Report indicates there were over 800 fentanyl related overdose deaths in Colorado in 2021.

The program is a way to educate students about these dangers before it's too late.

“We know that (School Resource Officer Dylaina Gauvey) of (the) Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office will do an excellent job helping us to continue accomplishing our goal of advancing police-community relationships. We’re thrilled to welcome her into our family,” said Nick DeMauro, CEO of LEAD, in a news release. “It’s great knowing that by teaching the evidence-based curriculum implemented by our organization, SRO Gauvey has the opportunity to completely change young students’ lives. We look forward to seeing the positive changes that will develop among the sixth grade students throughout our program.”

LEAD is guided by “The Too Good for Drugs and Too Good for Violence” curriculum, which develops a framework of social and emotional skills that promote positive attitudes and behaviors, while also helping build healthy relationships, resistance to substance abuse and conflict, and resistance to negative peer pressure and influence.

Gauvey enjoys the increased the amount of daily interaction with students by connecting with them in a close setting and serving as their teacher.

“I’m excited to have more time to bond with the children and get to know them on a more personal level,” Gauvey said in the release, adding she likes teaching them about “a subject matter powerful enough to prevent them from going down a path that could substantially detriment their lives.”

Gauvey helps students navigate the peer pressures during adolescence through the LEAD curriculum. She believes these skills will greatly benefit the students.

Gauvey said the sixth graders she’s teaching are “at the age where they may begin or have already begun to be influenced by their peers to try things such as drugs or alcohol.”

She also said the program will serve as a “great resource” to students by teaching them “how to use a logical decision-making process in times like these, which will ultimately help them to make the right choice.”


Reader Comments