Gardner Center holds “Drug Impairment Training for Educational Professionals”

The class taught how to identify drug impairment and how to intervene.
Published: Dec. 4, 2022 at 6:08 PM EST
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PRINCETON, W.Va. (WVVA) -At the Gardner Center in Princeton, law enforcement officials held a class to help educators identify drug abuse. The Drug Impairment Training for Educational Professionals, or “DITEP,” is a class designed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police to help educators identify the signs that someone may be impaired by drugs and what steps educators can take to intervene.

“So, a lot of times, the general population is not exposed to illicit drugs, and they may not recognize exactly what’s going on. They may know something’s wrong with the person, but they may not know exactly what it is. And this gives, especially the administrators in the school system an opportunity to be like ‘...I’ve seen this; we’ve talked about this in class. They may need some help or might need to get them some counseling,” says Lt. Adam Ballard, the Coordinator West Virginia Coalfields Highway Safety Program and the teacher of the class.

Dr. Shellie Simpson, the Principal of Mercer Elementary School, was in attendance and says, while she hopes to never have to use what she learned at her elementary school, she’s glad to have the knowledge at her disposal.

“In today’s society, we know that we’re dealing with parents that are struggling with addiction, students, and also sometimes staff members, unfortunately. So, being able to pick up on that and to put some assessment tools in place to help us know... better identify it, we know that we can get these people some help and make a difference,” says Dr. Simpson.

Dr. Simpson added that if the police decide to hold the class again, she will definitely recommend the class to other school personnel.