Ryan Hess, a Moffat County Sheriff's Office deputy, reads off a raffle ticket for COMA gear Wednesday during seventh-grade lunch at Craig Middle School. Hess appeared at the school as part of "Not Even Once" Week, an educational, anti-meth awareness campaign.

Photo by Shawn McHugh

Ryan Hess, a Moffat County Sheriff's Office deputy, reads off a raffle ticket for COMA gear Wednesday during seventh-grade lunch at Craig Middle School. Hess appeared at the school as part of "Not Even Once" Week, an educational, anti-meth awareness campaign.

Meth users cause a ripple effect

Editor's note: The Craig Daily Press has been publishing short pieces from people participating in Communities Overcoming Meth Abuse. The pieces were designed to raise awareness about "Not Even Once" Week, an anti-meth educational outreach campaign that ran Oct. 26 through 29 in Craig. Below is the final submission in the series.

My involvement in COMA derives from the saying that evil exists, not because of evil, but because of good people who do nothing.

I grew up in Craig and started working in law enforcement at a young age.

Through my experience, I saw the need to become more proactive in preventing our youth from poor decision-making and empowering our community with the knowledge to help combat the spread of methamphetamine.

Meth is a unique drug in that even one use can lead to addiction.

The slogan "Not Even Once" stands true - one use can lead to a life of painful addiction.

In our presentations, I often say people start by using meth, and then meth starts using them. They are psychologically and physiologically so attached to meth that they cannot escape its grasp.

The good side of this is that most people are not using meth.

The few people who do cause such a ripple effect through the whole community.

Still, most people are good people, and this is why I feel that community education is one of the best ways to stop and prevent the spread of meth.

Education gives people the tools and knowledge to take control of the community they live in and change it for the better.

Along with educating the community, we are starting to focus on our youth.

The majority of this week was aimed at youth education.

Youth education has become one of the top priorities of COMA. Throughout the next few months, we hope to start integrating new education programs to all ages to help kids understand that even trying meth once will change their lives.

I invite anyone to contact me with any question they have.

I encourage everyone to attend one of our community presentations. If anyone would like COMA to put on an presentation, feel free to contact us at 824-COMA (2662).

- Submitted by Ryan Hess, Moffat County Sheriff's Office, COMA member.

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