C.O.D.E. or Central Nebraska Cooperative for Drug Enforcement deals with the issues of drugs, violent crimes and gangs in south central Nebraska. The task force serves an area of 30,500 square miles with a total population of approximately 125,000. Geographically, it is the largest drug task force in Nebraska. C.O.D.E. is operational in 22 counties with 54 agencies participating.

For more information contact the following:
C.O.D.E. Project Director Lieutenant Rick Ryan (308) 535-6789,
C.O.D.E. Project Coordinator, Sergeant Eric Rice at (308) 535-8050 or C.O.D.E. Attorney John Higgins, Omaha, NE (402) 661-3717.

C.O.D.E. is supported by a grant awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs coordinates the activities of the following program offices and bureaus: Bureau of Justice Assistance, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Institute of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the Office for Victims of Crimes. Points of view or opinions contained within this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Central Nebraska C.O.D.E. Guide for Parents:
Facts about Methamphetamine, Cocaine and Marijuana

METHAMPHETAMINE:
Facts for Parents

  • Methamphetamine is not the biker drug it was in the 1960's. Today's meth is much stronger and contains more harsh chemicals.
  • The number of high school students using methamphetamine continues to rise.
  • Three Nebraska Teenagers have died from methamphetamine overdoses since 1996.
  • Young girls are drawn to methamphetamine for the ability to lose weight fast. Methamphetamine literally eats away at body muscle and body fat.
  • 40% of methamphetamine users are female.
  • Methamphetamine can severely alter the way the brain functions. It decreases dopamine (the feel good chemical in the brain.)
  • Short-term effects include paranoia, loss of appetite, severe weight loss, aggressive behavior, acne, body sores, hallucinations and convulsions.
  • Long term effects include depression, lung and kidney damage, tooth decay, putrid decay, putrid body odor, paranoid-schizophrenia, brain damage and death.
  • Methamphetamine can be smoked, injected, snorted or taken orally.
  • Methamphetamine comes from two sources: (1) importation from Mexico and the southwest border states; and (2) local labs producing "homegrown" meth.
  • Many of the ingredients in meth are poisonous—gasoline, ether, lye, rat killer, red phosphorous, and iodine.
  • The initial 'high' from meth will last 8 to 24 hours. The 'crash' will last up to three days.
  • Withdrawal symptoms will last 30-90 days.
  • A 'recipe' for meth is available on the Internet. It sounds simple; however, the chemicals are volatile and explosive. People have generated explosions and have died while attempting to make meth.
  • Meth labs can be found in homes, motel rooms, even in the trunk of cars.

MARIJUANA:
Facts for Parents

  • Marijuana is a serious threat—a dangerous, addictive drug. THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, is much stronger today than it was in the 1960's. Stronger marijuana means stronger effects.
  • The average age of first time use of marijuana in Nebraska is 13 years of age or under.
  • Studies show that adolescents who use marijuana are at much higher risk to use other drugs.
  • Marijuana is fat-soluble and remains in cells for weeks. The brain is one-third fat, and marijuana impairs thinking and concentrating skills, alters a person's sense of time, and hinders short-term memory. Marijuana has triggered attacks of mental illness, schizophrenia, and bi-polar (manic depressive psychosis).
  • Marijuana impairs motor skills, coordination, perception and judgment. It is the cause of car crashes, injuries and trauma.
  • Synthetic THC can be manufactured in a pill, suppository, or nasal spray forms for treating nausea, vomiting or AIDS-wasting syndrome. However, other, more effective medicines are available.
  • Marijuana can lower testosterone levels, can decrease sperm count, and can reduce muscle mass in males. In females, marijuana can disrupt menstrual cycles and hormone production.

COCAINE:
Facts for Parents

  • Cocaine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant with both physical and psychological addictive properties.
  • Cocaine powder can be inhaled or injected. Free base 'Crack' cocaine can be smoked.
  • Physical and psychological effects may occur in seconds and last as long as 60 minutes. When the immediate effects have diminished 'crashing' commonly occurs. This is extremely unpleasant and often accompanied by depression, suicidal tendencies, anxiety, tremors, irritability, feelings of fatigue and depression, plus a craving for more cocaine.
  • Even first time users may experience seizures or heart attacks, which can be fatal.

How can I tell if my child is on drugs?
Symptoms of drug use might include:

  • Excessive mood changes
  • Loss of appetite and/or unexplained weight loss
  • Changes in sleep habits
  • Changes in friends and activities
  • Symptoms of paranoia
  • Be alert for drug paraphernalia and/or unusual odors.

What should I do if I suspect my child is using drugs?

  • Get help. Call your pastor, school counselor, medical personnel, law enforcement. They can give you advice or refer you to someone who will help. Document why you suspect your child may be on drugs. Don't just ignore your feelings, your child's life may depend on your actions.
  • How can I prevent my child from getting involved with drugs?
  • One of the greatest deterrents is talking with your kids about drugs. Drug usage is almost always due to rebellion, alienation, despair, peer pressure or some combination. As a parent you can have a powerful effect on how your kids deal with these things.
  • Take a stand. Talk to your kids about drugs. Start when they are young. Kids will probably be exposed to drugs from kindergarten on, so say it early, say it often.
  • Set the rules! Be specific and consistent. Kids need to know exactly what the rules are. They must be clear, reasonable and enforced. Every kid will try to find our exactly how far he or she can go.
  • Educate yourself. Learn why drugs are so dangerous and how they can destroy your family.
  • Get involved. Participate in your child's life. Get to know their friends, their teachers. Encourage them to participate in school and community activities and become involved in those activities yourself. Be available for your child when he or she wants to talk. Listen attentively! Be a good role model.

Provided by: Nebraska's HIDTA Initiative (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) 402-221-4774, Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, C.O.D.E. Agencies, C.O.D.E. is coordinated by: Dawson County Sheriff's Office 308-324-3011

This project was supported by Grant # 97-DA-319 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs coordinates the activities of the following offices and bureaus: Bureau of Justice Assistance, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Institute of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the Office for Victims of Crimes. Points of view or opinions contained within this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Dept. of Justice.

Last Updated (Monday, 22 March 2010 15:38)