DEA Agent Discusses Drugs with Preschool Students - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

DEA Agent Discusses Drugs with Preschool Students

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A police officer and a drug enforcement agency paid children a visit in Dover on Thursday. (Photo: WBOC) A police officer and a drug enforcement agency paid children a visit in Dover on Thursday. (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - This time of year if you were to have a conversation with a 4-year old, you would most likely talk about things like fall leaves, pumpkins and Halloween. But on Thursday, some preschoolers in Dover talked about drugs.

A police officer and a drug enforcement agent paid Dover's Childrens Village a visit. They brought a message to kids perhaps just barely old enough to understand it.

About 20 4- and 5-year-olds sitting on a mat listen to DEA Agent C.D. Handy. Handy and the preschool's owner, Daisey Callaway, say the kids are not too young for this topic.

"We think that it's very important for us to approach them at this age about the dangers of drugs," said Handy.

"Yes, it's an early age," Callaway said. "However, when is not the right time? They need to have the knowledge to grow and make responsible decisions."

Callaway says some kids are facing the issue of drugs at an early age, whether they want to or not.

"You would be amazed how many of these children are already aware of drugs," she said. "They have family member who has a problem with drugs. They have seen drugs themselves. We're not going to be able to hide from it. So, we need to educate our children now."

Opioid addiction is a serious problem in Kent and Sussex counties. Handy said medicine cabinets can be the gateway to that for kids, even very young ones.

"It's good that we speak to kids at this age to let them know that medicines that aren't prescribed to them, and more importantly given to them by their parents, shouldn't be tampered with and/or utilized," he said.

Callaway hopes the kids understand.

"I think the message gets through, what they can wrap their minds around. And we'll keep building on this," she said. 

Callaway says this was a first for her preschoolers. They've had a police officer in to talk about "stranger danger" but never a DEA agent before.

The presentation at the preschool was a part of Red Ribbon Week. According to its website, the Red Ribbon campaign is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation.  Red Ribbon Week is Oct. 23-31 each year. 

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