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                                                    By Deputy Kelly Snyder     © 2001

This program deals with substance abuse and will educate the student on the pros and cons of why people use and abuse cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, marijuana, methamphetamine and other controlled substances.

The student will be able to identify what a controlled substance is and will be able to understand what the costs are to society.

The student will understand the abuse that is associated with using and abusing these substances. What the physical and mental health issues are, and the financial and criminal costs.

The Choices Program
 Greetings from Deputy Sheriff Kelly Snyder. The Choices Program consists of seven, one-hour sessions. It is a substance abuse program designed for seventh through tenth grade students. I believe the only way to beat the current trend is educating our young people that using is not cool. I have put together a program to teach our kids about the health risks of using and the consequences of their actions.

I wrote this program in 1999 and started to teach this program to the ninth graders at the Laurens-Marathon Community School District that same year. Since then, three school districts have also implemented the choices program. With the increasing interest in the choices program, I have decided to copy right the program and make it available to other law enforcement agencies and schools.

I have heard positive feedback from the kids and the schools, because the program is only seven sessions. The kids do not get tired of the program and the program does not take away important classroom time from the teachers. This age group is also at a point in their lives where they are making more independent decisions, which could affect the rest of their lives. The program also gives the presenter freedom to use any tapes or ideas that the presenter may have toward an issue. For example, I first talk about tobacco. We first list on the black board the pros and cons of using tobacco. Then the presenter could show tapes or do a classroom activity. It is the presenter who decides what to teach and how much time is spent on a subject. I have design an outline for the presenter to follow. Also the most important thing of this program is to have fun with the students. The kids will not forget you and you will not forget the kids.

Tobacco and Chewing Tobacco 

List pros and cons of use of tobacco

Pros: Image, (cool)

 Cons: clothes smell of smoke, bad breath, stains of yellow on hands and teeth, small burnt holes in cloths, furniture and vehicle seats. Health hazards, such as addictive to nicotine. Lung Cancer, esophageal cancer, chronic lung cancer, cancers of the bladder, pancreas, and kidney, heart disease. Cancer of the mouth. Loss of teeth and gum. There are about 4,000 different known chemicals in tobacco smoke. 43 of the 4,000 chemicals are carcinogenic, which is a substance or agent that causes the development or increases the incident of contacting cancer. The poisonous gas Carbon Monoxide (co) is in cigarette smoke. Levels of CO in cigarette smoke are over 400 times stronger than what is considered safe. IE. Second hand smoke. On chew, spit and ingesting chemicals from chew. Girls who smoke and use oral contraceptives just as the pill, increase their risk of cardiovascular disease and up to 39 times likely to have a heart attack. 30% of all cancer is from smoking. Cost of tobacco use. 1 pack of day habit up to a year at $3.00 a pack is $1,095.00.  Medical cost to the public is approx. $50 billion a year. Which means increase health insurance for the public. Death toll approx. 400,000 Americans a year and 3,000 a year from second hand smokes.

Criminal charges for under age possession are  $50.00 and first offense is also 8 hours of community work requirement and seizure of the cigarettes and chew. Second offense is $100.00 fine and 12 hours of community work. Third offense is $250.00 fine and 16 hours of community work.

Alcoholic Beverages

Pros and Cons

 Pros: Taste, Some people like the taste of some alcoholic beverages, Will give you a high or intoxicated feeling. Give you a feeling of being cool. The thrill of doing something that is illegal or morally wrong.

 Cons: Is addictive, is a Depressant, Which creates difficulties with judgement, reflexes and speech. Consuming large amount leads to alcohol poisoning, Females, if pregnant can damage the fetus. Will effect the heart, liver, kidneys and body composition. Alcohol is related to criminal activity, such as 50% to 68% of crimes committed involved alcohol, IE. Assaults, Manslaughter charges, rapes and spousal abuse.

Any one under the age of 21, is illegal to possess alcoholic beverages. Operating a motor vehicle while being intoxicated. (OWI), Public intoxicationís.

Fact: Iowa has a zero tolerance Law, which is .02 Blood Alcohol Concentration, (BAC), Any one under the age of 21 and test over .02 BAC will lose their privileged for a drivers license. Anyone that tests over .10 will be charge for OWI, which will lose their privileges to have a drivers license and face criminal charges. 40% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes involved alcohol abuse. 40,000 people are kill and 3,000,000 are injured every year. Cost to society is approx. 150 billion, which  means higher insurance cost for the public.  Penalties for OWI, is ,1st. offense Serious Misd. 1 year in County Jail and $500 to $1,000 Fine or both. 2nd offense Aggr. Misd. Up to 2 years in State Prison, fine $750.00 to $5,000.00 or both. Min. confinement, 7 days in county jail. 3rd  offense, class D felony, fine $750.00 to $ 7,500.00. Min. Confinement is 30 days. Higher cost of vehicle insurance, Which is call SR 22, will cost approx. $2,000.00 for just liability. Plus cost of rehab

Programs. Lost of earning from job, having to get people to drive you around to job and other functions.


Marijuana or Cannabis

Different names of marijuana: Pot, reefer, Grass, Weed,

Dope, Ganja, Joint,

Pros and Cons of use of marijuana:

Pros: high feeling, or intoxication. Possible use for medical treatments for pain in people with muscular or cancer problems. Thrill of using illegal substances.  

Cons: Physical effects: increased heart rate, blood shot eyes, dry throat, possible increased appetite, will reduce or affect memory loss or comprehension, alter sense of time, reduce ability to perform tasks, produces paranoia and psychosis, will damage the lungs from smoking, and damage to the pulmonary system due to holding the smoke inside the lungs for increased high. This in turned will increase the risk of cancer in the lungs than tobacco. Is highly addictive. Will reduce the immune system, more likely to catch a cold or disease. Harms the reproductive system. In men affects the male hormone, lowers the hormone testosterone, and decreases masculinity. It will also affect muscle growth. In women, also affect reproductive system and hormones. Will affect femininity. Marijuana use in females will increased the amount of testosterone in the body causing increased cases of acne and such characteristics as body and facial hair. Will have problems in pregnancy and increases infant mortality.

Other cons, continued use of marijuana the person becomes less able to cope with stressful situations. The person loses interest in achieving goals and instead becomes moody, easily fatigued, depressed. Burnout is the effect of prolonged marijuana use. Marijuana is considered to be the gateway drug. This means that marijuana users are more likely to try more harmful drugs

The main drug in Marijuana is called Tetrahydrocannabinol, or (THC). The level of THC determines the potency in marijuana. The THC levels in Marijuana have gone up since the use of marijuana in the 1960ís, due to hybrids of different plants. THC in the body attaches to the fatty tissues in various organs and depending on uses will take 30 days for the THC to leave the body. On the medical claim, THC is manufactured in a pill form for cancer or aids victims. But the side affects is lost of the immune system. Other form of marijuana is hashish. Hashish is a concentrated. The THC is 5 to 10 times higher. Hashish oil is higher concentrated and looks like black tar.

Costs: $90.00 per Ĺ ounce or $160.00 per ounce.

Criminal Cost: depending on the amount of possession, small amount, serious misd. $1000.00 fine and 1 year in Jail. Failure to possess a drug tax stamp, Class D felony, 5 years in state prison and $7,500.00 fine and rehab program which you pay.  Delivery or intent to deliver, Class C Felony, 10 years in state prison and $10,000.00 fine.

Cost to society, lost of productivity, increased taxes, increased insurance both medical and vehicle. Increased crime and problems for families. Addictive to the user.




Other names for meth, speed, crank, chalk, go-fast, zip, and cristy. Pure meth hydrochloride, the smokeable form of the drug is called L.A., or because of itís clear, chunky crystals, is called ice, crystal, glass or quartz. 

Pros: been used to lose weight, energized a person to work longer or stay awake. High feeling.

 Cons: Central Nervous system side effects: coming down from high, depression, irritability, anxiety, paranoia, nervousness, aggression, insomnia, hallucination, convulsions, loss of appetite, hypothermia, confusion.

Cardiovascular Side Effects: can produce chest pains and hypertension, from the accelerated heart beat, elevated blood pressure and irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain.

 Other physical side effects: pupil dilation, respiratory disorders, dizziness, tooth grinding, impaired speech, dry or itchy skin, acne, sores numbness and sweating.

 Psychological Effects: prolonged use of meth can resemble those of schizophrenia and are characterized by anger, panic, paranoia, auditory, and visual hallucinations, repetitive behavior patterns, and formication (delusion of parasites or insects on the skin. Can also induced in suicidal or homicidal thoughts.

 Long term physical effects: Fatal kidney, lung disorders, brain damage, liver damage, blood clots, heart attacks, strokes, ulcers and skin disorders.

 Costs: $25.00 a ľ gram.  Criminal Costs, possession of meth Serious Misd. 1 year in jail and $1,000.00 fine.  Intent to deliver Class C Felony  10 years in prison and up to $10,000.00 fine. Plus cost to society criminally, loss of work productivity and family. Highly addictive to the user and Has to steal to support the habit.




Pros: produces tissue-building anabolic and masculinizing androgenic effects. It stimulates bone and muscle development, skin and hair growth.                   

Cons: There are over 70 different side effects in the use of steroids. Ranging form cancer to acne. The liver, cardiovascular and reproductive systems are the hardest hit. Other side effects are stunted growth, prostate cancer, weight gain, swelling of feet and legs, trembling, darkening of the skin, bad breath, increased aggressive behavior (roid rage).                                      

Male baldness, impotence. On female usage: deepened of voice, facial hair, weight gain, and reproduction problems.

The use of steroids to increase muscle and strength does not mean tendons and ligaments are strength. This imbalance can result in serious injury.




Other names for Cocaine: Coke, Snow, Toot, White Lady, Nose Candy, Blow, and rock.

Pros: produces a high of euphoria, feelings of increased energy, alertness, self-esteem and sensory awareness.

Cons: Will deplete the bodyís energy supply, Confusion, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, constricts the heartís blood vessels, chest pains, irregular heart beat, brain seizures, increased blood pressure, chronic nose bleeds, weight loss, chronic headaches, respiratory ailments, mood swings

Hallucinations, paranoid behavior, such as cocaine psychosis.

Highly addictive.

Crack Cocaine is a light brown pellet, which is smoked. Melting the cocaine in a glass tube of water-cooled and mixed with baking soda and water makes it and then it hardens to form the pellet.

Costs $100.00 per gram. Crack $130.00 per gram.

Criminal costs, possession, serious misd. 1year in jail and $1,000.00 fine. Delivery of a controlled substance is a Class C Felony, 10 years in prison and $10,000.00 fine. Lost of productivity of job and family. Addictive to the user. Criminal problems such as stealing to finance the habit.

 Test Questions 

1. Define Peer Pressure.
2. Define Addiction.
3. What Drug is a Depressant?
4.What are Carcinogenic?
5.What Drug is the most abused?
6.What is the main drug in Marijuana?
7.What are the Health Hazards in Smoking Tobacco and Chewing Tobacco?
8.Iowa has a Zero Tolerance Law. What is it?
9.What does Marijuana do to the Male and Female Human System?
10.Approx. how Many Known Chemicals is there in Tobacco Smoke?
11.Why is Methamphetamine so Addictive?
12.What are the Side Effects of using Cocaine?
13.What are the Side Effects of using Steroids?
14.What are the Difference between Methamphetamine and Cocaine?
15.What are the Side Effects of using Methamphetamine?


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