The Drug and Alcohol Culture of the Red River Valley

One of the biggest messages being sent today is not to ignore the small stuff. He says those decisions can really affect your future

MOORHEAD, Minn. — People across the country are concerned about the drug and alcohol culture in today’s society.

Drug and substance abuse is sweeping the nation and one officer is traveling from state to state to teach people what to look for.

“What are all the trends you’re seeing, what do they mean, what’s going on, the why,” explained Jermaine Galloway.

Galloway says he is known as “The Tall Cop.”  He has worked in law enforcement since 1997.

“I try to fill in a lot of gaps for parents, for law enforcement, for even doctors and medical personnel,” Galloway said.

Over the years, trends have changed, but today drugs that are laced with other chemicals are on the radar.

“That has caught everyone off guard because you can’t really identify it,” said Galloway.

People in the metro are learning what they can do to stop these substances from coming into the city.

“Nowadays, we’re trending to the point where people are going to know someone who has died from a drug overdose,” said Corporal Beth Skari who is with the Grand Forks Police Department.

From elementary school to college, kids are seeing this first hand.

“People need to realize that they aren’t invincible and things can actually hurt and kill you,” said senior high school student, Sydney Ulrich. “It’s not a joke. They aren’t just saying this to scare us. It’s real life.”

One of the biggest messages being sent today is not to ignore the small stuff.

Galloway says those decisions can really affect your future.

“Some of the actions you do at the beginning that seem like no big deal, might end up at a very lethal place,” Galloway said.

He teaches his audience that things may not be what they seem.

“All of like the clothing that you can hide stuff in,” Ulrich said. “I didn’t know that even existed. There’s hats with like zippers on the inside.”

Many people say education is the first step to solving this problem.

“What’s going on our streets is going on in our schools, is going on in our communities, is going on behind closed doors and it’s one drug one day and a new drug another day,” said Corporal Skari.

Galloway says although staying on top of drug trends is almost impossible, the effort is crucial.

Instead of being a year behind, try to stay a week behind.

Students in high school, college and adults in the community came to the MSCTC for the presentation.

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