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Proactive training should have local support

March 6, 2019 12:34 am Updated: March 6, 2019 12:34 am

High in Plain Sight is the collective title of a series of regional trainings across the state designed to help police, prosecutors, educators, probation officers and treatment professionals to prevent impaired driving, but Columbia County officials want to adapt the program to include identification of new drug-abuse and addiction trends as another way to combat the opioid epidemic.

It’s unclear if Greene County officials will follow Columbia County’s lead, but the program can be used to stop overdoses and drug fatalities before they happen, applications police, treatment professionals and educators could use in day-to-day situations. As Columbia County delves deeper into the program, we strongly urge Greene County to adopt and develop it as well.

High in Plain Sight training is a comprehensive course on the latest alcohol and drug-use trends, according to the Stop-DWI New York website. The presentation covers alcohol and drug clothing, alcoholic energy drinks, flavored beverages with low alcohol content known as alcopops, alcohol and drug concealment methods and containers, drug paraphernalia, drug-related music and groups, logos, stickers, new technology, youth party tendencies, party games, non-traditional alcoholic beverages, social networking sites, synthetic drugs, over-the-counter drugs, inhalants, concentrates, E-cigarettes and popular party drugs.

What sets High in Plain Sight apart from other trainings is that it provides both broad and in-depth coverage of a variety of topics. In today’s lightning-fast, social-media culture, everything is person-specific and all terms and trends have different meanings to different people. Meanwhile, certain items have gained popularity in the alcohol and drug scene, which changes every day.

High in Plain Sight is much like programs created to monitor activity or chatter on the internet and social media, which can change literally by the second, except it’s in the hands of human beings, not machines. The opioid epidemic is not just in Columbia County. It’s in Greene County and surrounding communities. It’s an epidemic that doesn’t discriminate by race, color or creed. It can creep into anyone’s life.

Columbia and Greene County officials owe it to overdose victims and their families to make the right choice and support High in Plain Sight.