By Alfa · Feb 7, 2005 ·
  1. Alfa

    HURLEY - South Mississippi leaders in health, education and law enforcement
    learned more about a new drug prevention program that will be taught in high
    school and college classrooms this spring during an informational reception
    Monday at the East Central Community Center.

    The Mississippi Ecstasy Prevention Project is funded by a five-year,
    $300,000 grant through the Alcohol and Drug Abuse division of the
    Mississippi Department of Mental Health.

    The pilot program will be taught at the University of Southern Mississippi,
    the Perkinston, Jackson County and Jefferson Davis campuses of Mississippi
    Gulf Coast Community College, and alternative schools in Jackson County.

    It will use a research-based curriculum to teach at-risk students ages 18-24
    about the dangers of Ecstasy and other club drugs.

    Joe Stallworth, prevention coordinator for Singing River Mental Health
    Services, said various agencies perform surveys in middle school, high
    school and college classrooms that ask in-depth questions about students'
    drug and alcohol abuse.

    That data is sent to researchers at the University of Mississippi. Yancey
    said researchers give the information back to the agencies, which then
    provide it to local schools and other youth organizations.

    Superintendent Rucks Robinson said although he believes alcohol and
    marijuana are the most prevalent problems in the district, Ecstasy has the
    potential to be a serious problem.

    "Our children are at risk and it is extremely important we get in on the
    prevention stage, rather than having to deal with it after the fact,"
    Robinson said.

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