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Drugs Destroy Dreams

A project of the Maricopa County Attorney's Office • Richard M. Romley, County Attorney

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"Grandma, why are your teeth so yellow?"Today’s kids and parents are busy.

We make the dinner and make the beds. We pay the bills, change the baby and help our kids build a rocket for the school science fair. We work and we worry - about high fevers and the high cost of just about everything.

And sometimes in the shuffle, we simply forget the problems and pressures that kids themselves face every day. Drugs, alcohol, gangs and street crime offer tempting opportunities to kids who see no other easy way to feel important, and no other way to win.

That’s why we’ve put together this handbook. In it, we’ll discuss the danger signs of drug abuse and gang activity. We’ll also pass along the advice of experts on raising confident, caring kids -- strong enough to stand up to social pressure and smart enough to see the difference between hanging around with friends and hanging out with a neighborhood gang.

They’re lessons we simply can’t afford to ignore.

Research has shown that kids who learn the anti-drug message at home are 42% less likely to start using. This handbook will serve as a guide for you to get this very important conversation with your child started. It will walk you through the often intimidating task of talking to your kids about drugs, no matter their age or grade.

We understand that it is hard for parents to keep up with drug trends in their children’s school, so another valuable resource we offer is our award-winning web site, DrugFreeAZ.com. We encourage you to take advantage of all the web site has to offer and share the information you find with friends and family.

The heart of prevention is the relationship you build with your kids - whether they’re four or 14, you have the power to make a difference.

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"Want to smoke?" "No thanks, I'm drug free."Let’s face it. Growing up just isn’t what it used to be. Through music, movies, and MTV, kids today are hammered by adult ideas and images and pushed to make important choices at an age when most of us worried about getting a date — or a driver’s license.

Just consider some of these startling facts:

  • Drunk and drugged driving is the leading cause of death among 15-to-24-year-olds nationwide; in Arizona, nearly half (47.9 percent) of high school students and one in three (34.4 percent) of junior high students currently drink.
  • Over 41 percent of Arizona public high school students have used marijuana in their lifetime; 72.3 percent have tried alcohol.
  • More than 13,490 kids age 18 or younger are gang members in Arizona; there are over 560 youth gangs in Arizona alone.

The risks of being young are rising. Still, the basic rules for raising kids haven’t changed much over the years. Getting involved in our kids’ lives and teaching them a strong sense of self-worth is as important now as ever. Kids who value themselves and their own feelings are less likely to make choices based on what their friends say or think or do.

So how does a busy, modern-day parent do all that?

Spend time together. Set aside at least 10 minutes daily for quiet conversation with each child. Plan at least one family fun time each week — for walks, games, family projects or shared hobbies. Give your kids access to you; it’s what they want most.

Build good feelings. Encourage your kids often, pointing out the special qualities of each child. Be specific (they’ll know if you’re faking): “I appreciate the way you helped your baby brother today,” or “You make friends so easily.” Remember that your kids are individuals, too, and may choose to be different from you. Within reason, allow for differences in dress and lifestyle without taking your love away.

Build strong boundaries. Teach your children to like and respect themselves by liking yourself. Don’t allow your kids, friends, or spouse to bully or mistreat you.

Decision-making. Within careful limits, let your kids make their own choices — when to study, what to play, how to spend their money. Encourage working together on family chores and activities, from making the beds to making plans for a ball game. Watch for “teachable moments” — a chance to talk about an idea, share an experience, or (gulp) let the kids decide what’s for dinner.

Family Drug Education

The best place to begin guiding our kids in making decisions about alcohol and other drugs is in the home. We suggest beginning drug education early — and as a natural part of family projects and mealtime talks. And if it’s too late to start “early,” start anyway. Your kids may not know as much as they think.

Group Think

  • Begin by collecting information on drugs and alcohol. Read and talk about issues and separate rumors from facts.
  • Share your feelings about how drugs might affect your children: “I’m scared that you’ll get hurt by riding in a car with someone who is drunk or high,” or “I’m afraid that once you start, you won’t be able to stop.”
  • Be honest about your own drug use: “I’m really struggling to quit smoking and I hate the thought of you starting. I hope you’ll save yourself all the trouble I’m going through and not start at all.”
  • Keep your kids’ ages in mind: Young children view the world as black or white and are usually satisfied with the statement that drugs are “bad.” But don’t expect your teenagers to see it that simply. They’re more likely to view drug use and drinking as their own choice. Be ready with sound facts and solid examples of the damage alcohol and other drugs can do.

What You Can Do

Your child’s transition from elementary school to middle school or junior high calls for special vigilance. Children are much more vulnerable to drugs and other risky behavior when they move from sixth to seventh grade than when they were younger.

Continue the dialogue on drugs that you began when your child was younger, and stay involved in your child’s daily life by encouraging interests and monitoring activities. Use the specific actions below to significantly reduce the chance of your child becoming involved with drugs. Some of these actions may seem like common sense. And some may meet with resistance from preteens who are naturally striving to achieve independence from their parents. But all the measures listed below are critically important in making sure that your child’s life is structured in such a way that drugs have no place in it.

  • If possible, arrange to have your children looked after and engaged from three to five p.m. Encourage them to get involved with youth groups, arts, music, sports, community service, and academic clubs.
  • Make sure children who are unattended for periods during the day feel your presence. Give them a schedule and set limits on their behavior. Give them household chores to accomplish. Enforce a strict phone-in-to-you policy. Leave notes for them around the house. Provide easy-to-find snacks.
  • Get to know the parents of your child’s friends. Exchange phone numbers and addresses. Have everyone agree to forbid each others’ children from consuming alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs in their homes, and pledge that you will inform each other if one of you becomes aware of a child who violates this pact.
  • Call parents whose home is to be used for a party. Make sure they can assure you that no alcoholic beverages or illegal substances will be dispensed. Don’t be afraid to check out the party yourself to see that adult supervision is in place.
  • Make it easy for your child to leave a place where substances are being used. Discuss in advance how to contact you or another designated adult in order to get a ride home. If another adult provides the transportation, be up and available to talk about the incident when your child arrives home.
  • Set curfews and enforce them. Weekend curfews might range from
    9 p.m. for a fifth-grader to 12:30 a.m. for a senior in high school.

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Wipe drugs out of the worldThere’s good news and bad news about being a parent today.

The bad news is that it’s hard work — maybe the hardest work that we’ll ever take on in our lives. And as growing up gets more complicated for our kids, our job of supporting and guiding them in the decisions they make gets tougher too.

The good news is that we don’t have to do it alone.

In this section we’ll review common community resources for “drug-proofing” our kids — from simple, common sense changes we can all make at home to community-wide campaigns and activities. Look over “Calls and Contacts” for help in getting started.

The rest is up to you. Because like parenting, preventing alcohol and drug use is a tough job. But it’s one you’ll never regret.

Parent Power

Know yourself. Be clear about where you (and any other adults in the household) stand on using drugs and alcohol. Talk it over in advance with your spouse or other adult partner.

No drug use. Many families establish a no drug use rule for their kids. It’s short, simple — and safe. Whatever your rules are, be certain family members know what they are.

Family rules. Set consequences for breaking family rules that you are willing to carry out and that match the rule that’s been broken. Don’t threaten if you won’t follow through.

Healthy choices. One of the best ways to practice “drug-proofing” in your family is by helping your children make healthy lifestyle choices. Teach them how to reduce stress and worry without illegal substances, through exercise or talking their troubles out. And help them learn to have fun and feel good about themselves by learning new skills — or fine-tuning old ones.

Support systems. Get to know other parents in your neighborhood, your child’s group of friends, or after-school activities. Use your network to provide a caring, supervised setting for your kids when you’re not there. Carpool, join the PTA, share supervision of activities, develop joint rules on curfews and dating, and support one another in maintaining a safe space for kids.

Community Connections. Investigate local prevention resources through public schools and special law enforcement programs. Service groups, such as Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA, Head Start, departments of parks and recreation and others also offer summer and after-school activities and prevention programs for youth.

Teen-Fest -- Parents and Parties

With a little planning — and a firm agreement on codes of conduct — any party can be fun, safe, and drug- and alcohol-free. Some pointers:

If your teen is holding a party...

  • As much as possible, allow your kids to plan their own party — from set-up to clean-up. Discuss the plan with them in advance.
  • Have a plan for keeping out guests who appear drunk or drugged.
  • As the adult host, you’re responsible for your child’s guests. Don’t create chances to drink by leaving liquor where it’s easily available.
  • Set aside an area of the house for the party. Limit attendance (to a guest list, if possible), and set an ending time before family curfew.
  • If the party does get out of control (fights, broken furniture, large crowds, etc.), don’t hesitate to call parents — or the police.
  • Never let an intoxicated teenager drive home.

If your teen is attending a party…

  • Ask for the name, address, and phone number of the host. Contact the parents to be sure the party will be drug- and alcohol-free and that an adult will be there. Leave your name and number with the parents.
  • Ask your kids to call you if there is a change of plans or if a problem develops. Let them know there will be no punishment if they ask for help. Keep that promise.

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Be drug free, it's healthy. Don't smoke, you might choke. Don't drink, you'll stink.Preschoolers

It may seem premature to talk about drugs with preschoolers, but the attitudes and habits that they form at this age have an important bearing on the decisions they will make when they’re older. At this early age, they are eager to know and memorize rules, and they want your opinion on what’s “bad” and what’s “good.”

Although they are old enough to understand that smoking is bad for them, they’re not ready to take in complex facts about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Nevertheless, this is a good time to practice the decision-making and problem-solving skills that they will need to say “no” later on.

Here are some ways to help your preschool children make good decisions about what should and should not go into their bodies:

  • Discuss why children need to eat healthy food. Have your child name several favorite good foods and explain how these foods contribute to health and strength.
  • Set aside regular times when you can give your son or daughter your full attention. Get on the floor and play with him; learn about her likes and dislikes; let him know that you love him; say that she’s too wonderful and unique to do drugs. You’ll build strong bonds of trust and affection that will make turning away from drugs easier in the years to come.
  • Provide guidelines like playing fair, sharing toys, and telling the truth so children know what kind of behavior you expect from them.
  • Encourage your child to follow instructions, and to ask questions if he does not understand the instructions.
  • When your child becomes frustrated at play, use the opportunity to strengthen problem-solving skills. For example, if a tower of blocks keeps collapsing, work together to find possible solutions. Turning a bad situation into a success reinforces a child’s self-confidence.
  • Whenever possible, let your child choose what to wear. Even if the clothes don’t quite match, you are reinforcing your child’s ability to make decisions.
  • Point out the poisonous and harmful substances commonly found in homes, such as bleach, kitchen cleanser, and furniture polish, and read the products’ warning labels out loud. Explain to your children that not all “bad” drugs have warnings on them, so they should only eat or smell food or a prescribed medicine that you, a grandparent, or a babysitter give them.
  • Explain that prescription medications are drugs which can help the person for whom they are meant but that can harm anyone else – especially children, who must stay away from them.

Kindergarten through third grade (5-8 years old)

Don't waste your time by using drugs.A child this age usually shows increasing interest in the world outside the family and home. Now is the time to begin to explain what alcohol, tobacco, and drugs are, that some people use them even though they are harmful, and the consequences of using them. Discuss how anything you put in your body that is not food can be extremely harmful, and how drugs interfere with the way our bodies work and can make a person very sick or even cause them to die. (Most children of this age have had real-life experiences with a death of a relative or the relative of someone at school.) Explain the idea of addiction – that drug use can become a very bad habit that is hard to stop. Praise your children for taking good care of their bodies and avoiding things that might harm them.

By the time your children are in third grade, they should understand:

  • how foods, poisons, medicines, and illegal drugs differ;
  • how medicines prescribed by a doctor and administered by a responsible adult may help during illness but can be harmful if misused, so children need to stay away from any unknown substance or container;
  • why adults may drink but children may not, even in small amounts – it’s harmful to children’s developing brains and bodies.

Grades four through six (9-11 years old)

If you don't kill drugs, they'll kill you! Be smart and don't do drugs!Continue to take a strong stand about drugs. At this age, children can handle more sophisticated discussions about why people are attracted to drugs. You can use their curiosity about major traumatic events in people’s lives (like a car accident or divorce) to discuss how drugs can cause these events. Children this age also love to learn facts, especially strange ones, and they want to know how things work. This age group can be fascinated by how drugs affect a user’s brain or body. Explain how anything taken in excess – whether it’s cough medicine or aspirin – can be dangerous.

Friends – either a single best friend or a group of friends – are extremely important during this time, as is fitting in and being seen as “normal.” When children enter middle or junior high school, they leave their smaller, more protective surroundings and join a much larger, less intimate crowd of preteens. These older children may expose your child to alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. Research shows that the earlier children begin using these substances, the more likely they are to experience serious problems. It is essential that your child’s anti-drug attitudes be strong before entering middle school or junior high.

Before leaving elementary school, your children should know:

  • the immediate effects of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use on different parts of the body, including risks of coma or fatal overdose;
  • the long-term consequences – how and why drugs can be addicting and make users lose control of their lives;
  • the reasons why drugs are especially dangerous for growing bodies;
  • the problems that alcohol and other illegal drugs cause not only to the user, but the user’s family and world.

Rehearse potential scenarios in which friends offer drugs. Have your children practice delivering an emphatic “That stuff is really bad for you!” Give them permission to use you as an excuse: “My mom will kill me if I drink a beer!” “Upsetting my parents” is one of the top reasons preteens give for why they won’t use marijuana.

Teach your children to be aware of how drugs and alcohol are promoted. Discuss how advertising, song lyrics, movies, and TV shows bombard them with messages that using alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs is glamorous. Make sure that they are able to separate the myths of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use from the realities, and praise them for thinking for themselves.

Get to know your children’s friends, where they hang out, and what they like to do. Make friends with the parents of your children’s friends so you can reinforce each others’ efforts. You’ll feel in closer touch with your child’s daily life and be in a better position to recognize trouble spots. (A child whose friends are all using drugs is very likely to be using them, too.) Children this age really appreciate this attention and involvement. In fact, two-thirds of fourth-graders polled said that they wished their parents would talk more with them about drugs.

Grades seven through nine (12-14 years old)

Drug Free is the best way to be!A common stereotype holds that teenagers are rebellious, are ruled by peer pressure, and court danger even to the point of self-destructiveness. Although teens often seem unreceptive to their parents as they struggle to become independent, teens need parental support, involvement, and guidance more than ever.

Young teens can experience extreme and rapid shifts in their bodies, emotional lives, and relationships. Adolescence is often a confusing and stressful time, characterized by mood changes and deep insecurity, as teens struggle to figure out who they are and how to fit in while establishing their own identities. It’s not surprising that this is the time when many young people try alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs for the first time.

Parents may not realize that their young teens feel surrounded by drug use. Nearly nine out of ten teens agree that “it seems like marijuana is everywhere these days.” Teens are twice as likely to be using marijuana as parents believe they are, and teens are getting high in places that parents think are safe havens, such as around school, at home, and at friends’ houses.

Although teens may not show they appreciate it, parents profoundly shape the choices their children make about drugs. Take advantage of how much young people care about social image and appearance to point out the immediate, distasteful consequences of tobacco and marijuana use – for example, that smoking causes bad breath and stained teeth and makes clothes and hair smell. At the same time, you should discuss drugs’ long-term effects:

  • lack of crucial social and emotional skills, ordinarily learned during adolescence;
  • risk of lung cancer and emphysema from smoking;
  • fatal or crippling car accidents and liver damage from heavy drinking;
  • addiction, brain coma, and death.

Grades ten through twelve (15-17 years old)

Once you try it, you can't stop! Be very careful, don't do drugs!Older teens have already had to make decisions many times about whether to try drugs or not. Today’s teens are savvy about drug use, making distinctions not only among different drugs and their effects, but also among trial, occasional use, and addiction. They witness many of their peers using drugs – some without obvious or immediate consequences, others whose drug use gets out of control.

To resist peer pressure, teens need more than a general message not to use drugs. It’s now also appropriate to mention how alcohol, tobacco, and other drug consumption during pregnancy has been linked with birth defects in newborns. Teens need to be warned of the potentially deadly effects of combining drugs. They need to hear a parent’s assertion that anyone can become a chronic user or an addict and that even non-addicted use can have serious permanent consequences.

Because most high school students are future-oriented, they are more likely to listen to discussions of how drugs can ruin chances of getting into a good college, being accepted by the military, or being hired for certain jobs.

Teenagers tend to be idealistic and enjoy hearing about ways they can help make the world a better place. Tell your teens that drug use is not a victimless crime, and make sure they understand the effect that drug use has on our society. Appeal to your teen by pointing out how avoiding illegal drugs helps make your town a safer, better place, and how being drug-free leaves more energy to volunteer after school for tutoring or coaching younger kids– activities the community is counting on.

Your teenager may be aware of the debate over the legalization of marijuana and whether or not doctors should be able to prescribe it for medicinal purposes. The idea that there might be legitimate health advantages to an illegal drug is confusing. Now that your teenager is old enough to understand the complexities of this issue, it is important to discuss it at some point – perhaps during a teachable moment inspired by a news report. You may want to let your teen know that the ingredient in marijuana that has some medicinal value – delta-9-tetrahy-drocannabinol (THC) – can already be prescribed by doctors in a pill form that doesn’t contain the cancer-causing substances of smoked marijuana.

Other medical painkillers include codeine and morphine, both of which have been determined safe for prescription use after rigorous testing and review by scientific medical organizations.

It is important that parents praise and encourage teens for all the things they do well and for the positive choices they make. When you are proud of your son or daughter, tell him or her. Knowing they are seen and appreciated by the adults in their lives is highly motivating and can shore up their commitments to avoid drug use. Your teen may also be impressed by the importance of serving as a good role model for a younger brother or sister.

What are the Drugs in Your Child's World


K-3rd Grade

4th-6th Grade

7th-9th Grade
•Herbal Ecstasy
10th-12th Grade
•Herbal Ecstasy

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What type of drug is it and how is it used?

Alcohol is a depressant and is consumed orally (swallowed).

What are the street names/ slang terms for it?
• beer
• wine
• liquor
• booze
• cooler
• malt liquor

What are the short- and long-term effects associated with it?

• addiction
• dizziness
• slurred speech
• disturbed sleep
• nausea
• vomiting
• hangovers
• impaired motor skills
• violent behavior
• impaired learning
• fetal alcohol syndrome
• respiratory depression
• death (at high doses)

What should every parent know about it?

alcohol flaskAccording to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the first use of alcohol typically is age 13, and it is estimated that 80 percent of high school seniors have used alcohol.



What type of drug is it and how is it used?

Amphetamines are stimulants, and they can be injected, snorted, smoked or swallowed.

What are the street names/ slang terms for it?
• speed
• uppers
• ups
• hearts
• biphetamine
• bennies
• black beauties
• copilots
• bumble bees
• footballs
• dexedrine

What are the short- and long-term effects associated with it?

• irritability, aggression
• loss of appetite
• paranoia/psychosis
• anxiety
• dizziness
• convulsions
• increased blood pressure
• increased body temperature
• increased risk of exposure to HIV, hepatitis, other infectious diseases (if injected)

What should every parent know about it?

amphetamine capsulesBoth Ecstasy and methamphetamine are forms of amphetamines. Chronic use of amphetamines can induce psychosis with symptoms similar to schizophrenia.



What type of drug is it and how is it used?

Cocaine is a stimulant is consumed by injecting, smoking, snorting or swallowing.

What are the street names/ slang terms for it?
• coke
• snow
• flake
• blow
• white
• big C
• nose candy
• snowbirds

What are the short- and long-term effects associated with it?

• increased blood
• increased heart rate
• paranoia
• anxiety
• hallucinations
• seizures
• heart attack
• respiratory failure
• insomnia
• irritability
• loss of appetite
• increased risk of exposure to HIV, hepatitis, other infectious diseases (if injected)
• death

What should every parent know about it?

cocaine paraphernaliaParaphernalia include razor blades, scales, small mirrors, mini ziplock bags, short straws, surgical tubing, syringes, funnels, and spoons with the stems broken off.

crack cocaine


What type of drug is it and how is it used?

Crack, like cocaine, is a stimulant. Crack normally is heated and smoked in a pipe.

What are the street names/ slang terms for it?
• rock
• freebase
• baseball
• pebbles
• apple jacks
• 151
• half track
• pony

What are the short- and long-term effects associated with it?

• increased blood pressure
• increased heart rate
• paranoia
• anxiety
• hallucinations
• seizures
• heart attack
• respiratory failure
• insomnia
• irritability
• loss of appetite
• increased risk of exposure to HIV, hepatitis, other
infectious diseases (if injected)
• death

What should every parent know about it?

crack pipeCrack is the “rock” form of cocaine. Crack paraphernalia can include a pipe, which can be be an actual pipe, or a makeshift one, such as a soda can and hollowed car antenna.

cough syrup containing DXM


What type of drug is it and how is it used?

DXM, dextromethorphan, is a stimulant, and is found in many over-the-counter cold medicines (tablets or gelcaps) and liquid cough syrups.

What are the street names/ slang terms for it?
• Dex
• Robo
• Tussin
• Skittles
• C-C-C
• Triple C
• Red Devils

What are the short- and long-term effects associated with it?

• nausea
• vomiting
• abdominal pain
• seizures
• confusion
• hallucinations
• sleep problems
• numbness of fingers and toes
• high blood pressure
• irregular heart beat
• brain damage
• death

What should every parent know about it?

coricidin hbp tabletsCurrently, Coricidin HBP is the over-the-counter medicine with the highest concentration of DXM. The small red pills are called Skittles, for their likeness to the popular candy. Coricidin HBP abuse among teens is a growing problem.

ecstasy tablets


What type of drug is it and how is it used?

Ecstasy is a stimulant, usually in colorful tablets with embossed cartoon characters, symbols or logos, resembling candy.

What are the street names/ slang terms for it?
• E
• Adam
• Hug Drug
• Clarity
• Beans
• Roll

What are the short- and long-term effects associated with it?

• anxiety
• paranoia
• depression
• muscle tension
• nausea
• reduced appetite
• blurred vision
• fainting
• increased heart rate
• increased blood pressure
• tremors
• hallucinations
• death

What should every parent know about it?

ecstasy paraphernaliaParaphernalia can include pacifiers, candy necklaces or rings, glow sticks, nasal inhalers, breath sweetener bottles, and dust masks.

foxy tablets


What type of drug is it and how is it used?

Foxy and AMT are hallucinogens, and come in tablets, usually purple or red with an embossed spider or alien head.

What are the street names/ slang terms for it?
• Foxy Methoxy
• fake Ecstasy

What are the short- and long-term effects associated with it?

• dilated pupils
• emotional distress
• nausea, vomiting
• diarrhea
• hallucinations
• visual and auditory disturbances or distortions

What should every parent know about it?

foxy/amt tabsFoxy and AMT are often passed off as Ecstasy, and they come in colorful tablets like Ecstasy. However, unlike Ecstasy, Foxy and AMT can produce extreme hallucinations without the “warm and fuzzy” feeling usually associated with Ecstasy.

ghb powder and liquid

(gamma hydroxybutyic acid)

What type of drug is it and how is it used?

GHB is a stimulant, and is consumed orally.

What are the street names/ slang terms for it?
• goop
• Grievous Bodily Harm
• Georgia Home Boy
• somatomax
• liquid ecstasy
• scoop

What are the short- and long-term effects associated with it?

• liver failure
• nausea
• vomiting
• tremors
• seizures
• comas
• insomnia
• anxiety
• difficulty breathing
• impaired motor skills
• violent behavior
• impaired learning
• fetal alcohol syndrome
• respiratory depression (high doses)
• death (high doses)

What should every parent know about it?

ghb vialsGHB is a clear, colorless, tasteless, odorless liquid that is almost undetectable when dissolved in a drink. GHB can be packaged in water bottles, mouthwash containers, glass vials and eyedropper bottles.

Ephedra (herbal ecstasy)

Herbal Ecstasy

What type of drug is it and how is it used?

Herbal Ecstasy is a stimulant. It comes in various forms that can be swallowed, snorted or smoked.

What are the street names/ slang terms for it?
• ephedrine
• Ultimate Xphoria
• ephedra
• Rave Energy
• Cloud 9
• X

What are the short- and long-term effects associated with it?

• increased heart rate
• increased blood pressure
• seizures
• stroke
• liver failure
• harmful reactions to those with diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease
• heart attacks
• death

What should every parent know about it?

Cloud 9 and other herbal ecstasy pills“Herbal” doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Herbal Ecstasy contains ephedra, the same ingredient as some diet supplements, and the same ingredient that has been linked to at least 100 deaths.

heroin powder


What type of drug is it and how is it used?

Heroin is an opiate/opiate-like drug that can be smoked or snorted, or heated into a liquid and injected.

What are the street names/ slang terms for it?
• smack
• mud
• dope
• horse
• junk
• brown sugar
• big H
• black tar

What are the short- and long-term effects associated with it?

• constricted pupils
• impaired night vision
• decreased sexual pleasure
• indifference to sex
• respiratory failure
• dry itching skin
• skin infections
• vomiting after first use and at high doses
• increased risk of exposure to HIV, hepatitis, infectious
diseases (if injected)
• death

What should every parent know about it?

heroin "scoop"Heroin paraphernalia can include burnt spoons or plastic scoops, needles, razor blades, straws, pipes, plastic tubing, rolled-up dollar bills and eyedroppers.



What type of drug is it and how is it used?

Inhalants can be anything from household cleaning products to spray paint. The vapors from these products are inhaled to produce a fast high.

What are the street names/ slang terms for it?
• nitrous oxide
• whippets
• laughing gas
• poppers
• huffing
• bagging

What are the short- and long-term effects associated with it?

• severe mood swings
• liver damage
• lung damage
• kidney damage
• tremors
• hallucinations
• fatigue
• lack of coordination
• muscle weakness
• dangerous chemical imbalances in body
• hepatitis
• peripheral neuropathy
• decrease of sense of smell
• decrease or loss of appetite
• decrease in heart rate
• decrease in respiratory rate

What should every parent know about it?

aerosol whipped cream canProducts that are used as inhalants can include model airplane glue, nail polish remover, cleaning fluids, fabric protector, hair spray, gasoline, freon, spray paint, cooking spray, correction fluid and the propellant in whipped cream cans.

ketamine powder


What type of drug is it and how is it used?

Ketamine is an opiate/ opiate-like drug. It can be in pill, powder, or liquid form, and is usually snorted or smoked.

What are the street names/ slang terms for it?
• cat valium
• jet
• special K
• breakfast cereal
• vitamin K
• super-K
• new ecstasy
• Ketalar
• Ketaject
• psychedelic heroin

What are the short- and long-term effects associated with it?

• amnesia
• impaired motor
• potentially fatal respiratory problems

What should every parent know about it?

ketamine vialsKetamine, which is an anesthetic used mostly on animals, is chemically similar to PCP. Many ketamine users have reported severe hallucinations, and those hallucinations turn up as flashbacks during recovery.

lsd tablets


What type of drug is it and how is it used?

LSD is a hallucinogen, and is in pill, liquid, blotter paper or gelatin form. LSD normally is consumed orally or placed on the tongue (blotter paper).

What are the street names/ slang terms for it?
• lysergic acid diethylamide
• acid
• microdot
• tabs
• sugar cubes
• yellow sunshines
• barrels
• window panes
• blotter

What are the short- and long-term effects associated with it?

• elevated body temperature
• elevated blood pressure
• flashbacks
• suppressed appetite
• numbness
• chronic recurring hallucinations
• tremors
• psychosis
• death

What should every parent know about it?

forms of lsdLSD liquid often is sold in breath freshener bottles, and blotter paper is decorated with icons, cartoons and other eye-catching symbols.

lsd tablets


What type of drug is it and how is it used?

Marijuana can be in the form of dried leaves that are
consumed orally, or crushed and rolled into a “joint” and smoked.

What are the street names/ slang terms for it?
• weed
• pot
• reefer
• grass
• dope
• Mary Jane
• Aunt Mary
• 420
• sinsemilla
• chronic
• gangster
• ganja
• herb
• kif

What are the short- and long-term effects associated with it?

• bloodshot eyes
• dry mouth
• dry throat
• intense anxiety
• panic attacks
• reduced concentration
• reduced coordination
• impairments in learning, memory, perception and judgment
• difficulty in speaking
• difficulty in thinking, retaining knowledge, problem-solving and forming concepts

What should every parent know about it?

marijuana "joint"Marijuana paraphernalia can include alligator clips, “roach” clips, cigarette-rolling papers, surgical tubing and glass or homemade pipes.

meth powder and "bullet"


What type of drug is it and how is it used?

Meth is a stimulant that can be snorted, swallowed, injected, or smoked. The smokable form, crystal meth or "ice", resembles crushed ice.

What are the street names/ slang terms for it?
• meth
• speed
• crank
• crypto
• white cross
• fire
• ice
• crystal
• glass
• ice cream
• cristy
• quartz

What are the short- and long-term effects associated with it?

• compulsive behavior
• paranoia
• hyperthermia
• convulsions
• stroke
• heart and blood toxicity
• increased blood pressure
• hallucinations
• sensation of insects crawling on or under skin

What should every parent know about it?

"ice" rocks and meth pipeMeth paraphernalia can include glass pipes or bongs, scales, hand torches, syringes and mini ziplock bags. A disturbing trend among female teens is using meth to lose weight. Weight loss is severe, but so are the side effects.

dried mushrooms


What type of drug is it and how is it used?

Mushrooms are hallucinogens, and are dried, then consumed orally or brewed in tea.

What are the street names/ slang terms for it?
• magic mushrooms
• shrooms
• caps
• psilocin
• psilocybin

What are the short- and long-term effects associated with it?

• paranoia
• nervousness
• sweating
• nausea
• hallucinations
• increased blood pressure
• distorted perceptions of sensations, such as touch, sight, sound and taste

What should every parent know about it?

mushroomsThe use of “magic” mushrooms didn’t die with the 1970s. Mushrooms and other hallucinogenics have made a comeback, especially at raves.



What type of drug is it and how is it used?

OxyContin comes in tablets or caplets and are swallowed, but some users snort the crushed powder or boil it with water and inject it.

What are the street names/ slang terms for it?
• hillbilly heroin
• poor man’s heroin
• killers
• oxycotton
• oxy
• OC
• oxycodone

What are the short- and long-term effects associated with it?

• respiratory depression
• constipation
• nausea
• vomiting
• dizziness

• weakness
• analgesia
• headache
• dry mouth
• sedation

What should every parent know about it?

oxycontin tablets and capletsOxyContin, a prescription muscle relaxer, can be legally prescribed to relieve moderate to severe pain. However, non-legal use of the drug is on the rise because it can produce a heroin-like high without the heroin-like withdrawals.



What type of drug is it and how is it used?

PCP is a hallucinogen, and comes in tablets, capsules and various colors of powder. It can be injected, snorted, swallowed or smoked.

What are the street names/ slang terms for it?
• angel dust
• dust
• ozone
• rocket fuel
• wack
• elephant tranquilizers
• peace pill
• embalming fluid

What are the short- and long-term effects associated with it?

• hallucinations, sometimes severe
• “out of body” experiences
• impaired motor skills
• inability to feel pain
• respiratory attack

• aggressive behavior
• violence
• paranoia
• increased risk of exposure to HIV, hepatitis, other infectious diseases (if injected)
• death

What should every parent know about it?

pcp tabletsPCP has made a comeback in recent years. The severe effects are still the same, but the look has changed to attract the younger “rave” crowd. PCP pills now can look like candy (and Ecstasy): colorful tablets embossed with cartoon characters.



What type of drug is it and how is it used?

Ritalin is a prescription medication used to treat ADHD. It is in tablet form, which can be swallowed, crushed into a powder and snorted, or injected.

What are the street names/ slang terms for it?
• methylphenidate
• smart drug
• speed
• west coast
• vitamin R
• r-ball

What are the short- and long-term effects associated with it?

• tremors
• convulsions
• seizures
• stroke
• paranoia
• hallucinations
• delusions
• irregular heartbeat
• irregular respiration

• excessive repetition of movements
• excessive repetition of meaningless tasks
• increased risk of exposure to HIV, hepatitis or other infectious diseases (if injected)

What should every parent know about it?

ritalin tabletsIllegal use of Ritalin is on the rise. Because it is called the “smart drug”, high school and college students mistakenly think they can get better grades if they take Ritalin. The DEA reports that Ritalin is one of the most stolen prescription drugs in the U.S.

rohypnol tablets


What type of drug is it and how is it used?

Rohypnol is a prescription medication that comes in pill form. It can be swallowed, or crushed and dissolved into a drink, or snorted.

What are the street names/ slang terms for it?
• date-rape drug
• flunitrazepam
• roach
• roofies
• forget pill
• rophies
• rope
• R2
• rib
• roofenol
• la roche

What are the short- and long-term effects associated with it?

• aggression
• dizziness
• disorientation
• nausea
• sense of fearlessness

• blackouts with complete loss of memory
• difficulty with motor movements and with speaking

What should every parent know about it?

rohypnol tablets in foil pouchRohypnol is a prescription drug used to treat severe sleep problems. It is tasteless, odorless, and can completely dissolve in liquid, hence its popularity as a “date-rape drug” at nightclubs or parties.

soma tablets


What type of drug is it and how is it used?

Soma, the brand name for the prescription muscle relaxant Carisoprodol, is a depressant, and it comes in pill form.

What are the street names/ slang terms for it?
• carisoprodol
• somas
• DANs
• D’s
• dance
• DAN5513

What are the short- and long-term effects associated with it?

• drowsiness
• extreme weakness
• increased heart rate
• dizziness
• nausea
• vomiting

• burning in the eyes
• temporary loss of vision
• impaired mental and physical abilities
• difficulty breathing

What should every parent know about it?

soma tabletSoma can help relieve pain from muscle injuries, when legally prescribed. However, illegal use of Soma is on the rise. In a 2000 report, the DEA named Carisoprodol the most abused non-controlled substance in America.

steroid vials and syringes


What type of drug is it and how is it used?

Steroids are stimulant and come in liquid and pill form. The liquid normally is injected into muscle.

What are the street names/ slang terms for it?
• rhoids
• juice
• sauce
• slop

What are the short- and long-term effects associated with it?

• aggression
• depression
• acne
• mood swings

• liver cancer
• sterility
• masculine traits in women
• feminine traits in men

What should every parent know about it?

steroid ampule and pillsParaphernalia associated with steroids can include syringes and ampules (small, sealed glass vials that hold hypodermic injectable solutions).

cigarette in ashtray


What type of drug is it and how is it used?

Tobacco originates from the tobacco plant. The leaves are chopped up and are made into smokable or chewable forms.

What are the street names/ slang terms for it?
• cigarettes
• cigars
• pipes
• smoke
• butt
• snuff
• bone
• coffin nail
• cancer stick

What are the short- and long-term effects associated with it?

• cardio-vascular disease
• heart disease
• emphysema
• chronic bronchitis
• spontaneous abortion

• pre-term delivery and low birth weight
• cancer of the lung, larynx, esophagus, bladder, mouth, pancreas and kidney

What should every parent know about it?

pipe, cigar and chewing tobaccoAccording to a 2000 NIDA report, 62% of high school students have smoked cigarettes. The pressure to try smoking can start as early as the fourth grade.

vicodin caplets


What type of drug is it and how is it used?

Vicodin, a prescription pain reliever, is a combination of hydro-codone and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone, an opioid, is similar in structure to codeine.

What are the street names/ slang terms for it?
• vike
• vics
• Watson-387
• hydrocodone
• hydrocodone bitartrate

What are the short- and long-term effects associated with it?

• dizziness
• nausea
• vomiting
• mood changes
• anxiety
• fear

• drowsiness
• skin rash
• hearing loss
• slowed breathing
• decreased mental and physical abilities

What should every parent know about it?

vicodin tabletsThe DEA lists Vicodin as one of the most abused pharmaceutical controlled substances in America. Non-medical use of Vicodin is a growing trend among teens. Many users combine Vicodin with other drugs, such as OxyContin.

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Drugs cost a lot. Your life is worth more!Most parents have a sixth sense about how their kids act and feel. We usually know when something is “off” — and sometimes long before full-blown problems appear. But identifying drug and alcohol problems is tricky.

Lots of kids first get involved — or get in trouble — at the age when they naturally start demanding greater freedom and more privacy from parents.

Learning the difference between “symptoms” of growing up and the warning signs of alcohol and other drug use isn’t easy. As a parent, you must ask questions carefully and avoid snap judgments, yet learn to trust our sense that our kids are in trouble.

By themselves, many of the following signs may signal nothing more than the pains and pangs of “teenagehood.” But taken together, they should make a parent’s sixth sense tingle. Because if alcohol or drug use is not the problem, something else may be.

Getting Help

Discovering that a child is using drugs is one of the scariest situations a parent ever faces. Our first feelings are fear (Have they hurt themselves?) and anger (How could they do this to me?). And our first impulse is to attack or punish our kids.

Fear and anger are natural reactions to a family crisis. They just aren’t very helpful. In fact, the first rule of dealing with adolescent drug problems is staying calm. Now, more than ever, your child needs love and support. Drug and alcohol abuse is serious, and should be treated that way. But not at the cost of permanent damage to your relationship with your kids.

Getting Treatment

If your child continues using drugs and alcohol, your best bet may be a treatment program. It’s a serious move, and should not be used as a threat, punishment, or a way to force your child to “behave.” Deciding to put your child in treatment is a message that you consider their behavior destructive and dangerous — to themselves and the family. For an online list of treatment facilities in Arizona, log onto Drug Free AZ's Treatment Centers in Arizona page.

Your child might be using drugs if:

  • she's withdrawn, depressed, tired, and careless about personal grooming; he's hostile or uncooperative;
  • he frequently breaks curfews;
  • her relationships with family members have deteriorated;
  • he's hanging around with a new group of friends;
  • her grades have slipped, and her school attendance is irregular;
  • he's lost interest in hobbies, sports, and other favorite activities;
  • her eating or sleeping patterns changed;
  • she's up at night and sleeps during the day;
  • he has a hard time concentrating;
  • her eyes are red-rimmed and/or nose is runny in the absence of a cold;
  • household money has been disappearing.

If your child is using drugs:

Facts First

  • Begin by asking questions and gathering facts. Speak with your child's friends, teachers, coach, school counselor, or employers. Get specific: how much, how often, and how long have they been using.
  • Try to get a sense of how deeply your child is involved. Do most of the "Signs and Symptoms" fit? Meet with a local drug and alcohol counselor to discuss your situation.
  • Agree on a course of action with your spouse or other adults in the household before talking with your child. Consider options you are willing to offer, such as new family rules or a written contract spelling out conditions your child must meet.

Tough Love

  • Set aside time for meeting with your child. Discuss what you've learned so far, ask more questions, talk about feelings -- yours and your child's. Remember that they're frightened, too.
  • Discuss your new conditions and consequences, which should include a rule on no further drug and alcohol use.
  • Consider outside support for your child -- and yourself. Self-help groups (such as Alcoholics Anonymous), ministers, and school counselors are helpful, as well as outpatient drug and alcohol centers.

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Where they really belong. Be Drug FreeAcross Arizona, gangs have replaced drugs on many parents’ “most worried” lists.

And with good reason.

Street gangs aren’t new to Arizona. But they are more visible — and more violent. Gangs today fight “turf wars” with guns more often than muscle. And in schools and neighborhoods across the state, gang activity is increasingly connected with violent crime — from simple vandalism and graffiti to burglary, drug trafficking, assault, and drive-by shootings.

Since the mid-1980s, drug profits have fueled a huge expansion in gang activity across the state. Approximately 14,000 teenagers and young adults belong to gangs in Arizona.

Whys and Why Nots

Kids today are drawn to gangs for understandable reasons: excitement, protection, fun, and friendship. But gang membership also offers a sense of identity and power that appeals to many young people. According to a recent survey, peak interest in gang membership occurs among 9th and 10th graders — the age when kids start scrambling for a sense of identity and self-worth.

Other common factors in gang involvement include:

  • Feelings of unimportance and powerlessness
  • Seeking respect, wanting attention
  • Lack of involvement in school, family, or outside activities and interests
  • Poor communication, problem-solving skills
  • Family history of gang membership
  • Children from single-parent families or children of alcoholics and drug users

Signs of Involvement

While older members are proud and boldly wear the “colors” that identify their gang membership, young people often won’t admit their involvement. But they will decorate belongings — from schoolbooks to bedroom walls — with gang logos and graffiti, or wear clothing that links them with a particular gang. And to rival gangs shooting from a speeding car, all “colors” look alike, whether they’re worn by a full-fledged gang member or a “wanna-be.”

Common warning signs of gang involvement include:

  • Slogans, graffiti, initials (MVL, LVL, SSM, etc.)
  • Tattoos, particularly on the hands
  • Dressing primarily in athletic team clothing (particularly Los Angeles Raiders, Chicago Bulls, or Georgetown Hoyas)
  • Red, blue, or black shoelaces, bandannas, and baseball caps
  • Using hand signs or signals

Gang Prevention

Parents play the leading role in keeping kids out — and in bringing back those who are already flirting with joining a neighborhood gang. Filling gaps in a child’s sense of identity and self-worth through the suggestions we’ve outlined in this handbook are big first steps in stopping gang involvement before it gets started.

Other ideas:

  • Spend time talking with and listening to your children. Get to know their friends and playmates.
  • Encourage your kids to get involved in community activities, such as school programs, public parks and recreation groups, Boys and Girls Clubs, and church youth programs.
  • Invite your children into your life. Involve them in family decisions or take them with you to work for a day.
  • Make your neighborhood your “family.” Join other parents in a Block Watch group or sign up for the PTA at your child’s school.

Getting Out

Most kids find it difficult — even deadly — to get out of a gang. Some are forced to leave home in order to leave their gang links behind. Gang intervention projects use a mix of home visits, group counseling, and one-on-one mentoring to support gang-involved kids in getting out — and staying out.

For parents of gang-involved kids:

Victory Outreach Church
A Christian ministry to inner-city drug users and gang members
(602) 433-2711
Gang Prevention Community Forums
For Mesa residents, hosted by Mesa Gang Control Steering Committee and the United Way
(480) 644-GANG
Friendly House
Youth counseling services for street kids and other troubled youth
(602) 257-1870
For more information on local gang prevention programs, see the Helping Hands -- Helplines section below

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Wipe drugs out of the earth!It’s a tradition as old as the West and as fresh as yesterday’s headlines: neighbors banding together to protect their community by protecting each other — whether home’s on the range or in a modern-day city.

A new twist on the wagons-in-a-circle showdown, Block Watch teaches residents to be the eyes and ears of the neighborhood — and the front line of community defense against drugs, gangs, and crime.

Studies show a strong link between drugs and crime. In 1999, Tucson and Phoenix had between 55.8 percent and 68.5 percent of male juvenile arrestees testing positive for drugs. Positive drug testing results for female juvenile arrestees ranged between 41.0 percent and 45.5 percent.

Block Watch Basics

The program provides citizen groups and neighborhoods community crime prevention training to improve personal safety and home security. The program also teaches residents how to establish neighborhood standards of safety. Guiding principles of the program include:

Deterring crime. Block Watch trains residents in simple security measures (such as locks and lights) that help keep would-be criminals away.

Delaying crime. Block Watch demonstrates how to crime-proof your home by making it more difficult to enter.

Detecting crime. Block Watch training establishes a neighborhood-wide early warning system that instructs residents in how to spot a crime before it occurs — and how to keep crime from happening.

Block Watch programs don’t replace the police — but they do make an officer’s job easier. A quick 911 report of “unusual” activity in your neighborhood saves police officers hours in tracking suspects and improves their chances of catching a criminal.

Bringing Block Watch to Your Neighborhood

Any interested resident can begin a Block Watch program by calling your local police department (in Phoenix: (602) 262-7331) to schedule a neighborhood crime prevention meeting. A packet of information describing the program and how to organize a meeting in your area is sent following the call.

At the meeting, an officer will explain the purpose and principles of Block Watch programs, and answer questions on crime prevention topics ranging from police response time to home security.

Crime Prevention Contacts -- Phoenix Police:

Police Emergency
For any police, fire, or medical emergency (24 hours)
Crime Stop
To report any unusual activities in your neighborhood
(602) 262-6151
General Police Information Desk
Gang Hotline
Gang Criminal Information

(602) 262-7626
(602) 534-4264
(602) 262-7311
Crime Prevention Programs
Home Security and Block Watch (offered free by each Phoenix Police Precinct)
South Mountain
Desert Horizon
Squaw Peak
Cactus Park

(602) 534-2606
(602) 495-5004
(602) 495-5005
(602) 495-5006
(602) 495-5007
(602) 495-5008
(602) 495-5009
Silent Witness
Information about unsolved felony crimes
(602) 261-8600

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Inclusion on this page does not constitute an endorsement by Drug Free AZ or the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. Errors and omissions are not intended.

For more helplines or a list of treatment centers in Arizona, please visit Drug Free AZ's Treatment Centers in Arizona page.


Police emergencies, medical emergencies or fire emergencies

Crisis Hotlines

EMPACT-- Suicide Prevention Center
24-hour crisis line
(480) 784-1500
Parents Anonymous
24-hour line
ChildHelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline
(602) 248-TEEN
County Wide Crisis System
24-hour line in Maricopa County
State of Arizona Child Abuse Hotline
(602) 530-1800
Peer counseling, Mon.-Thurs. 5-10pm
(480) 461-8888

ValueOptions 24-hour Crisis Hotline
Across Arizona

(602) 222-9444


Adult Children of Alcoholics
(602) 241-6760
AlAnon and AlAteen
(602) 249-1257
Alcoholics Anonymous
(602) 264-1341
Banner Helpline
Across Arizona
(602) 254-HELP (4357)
Cocaine Anonymous
(602) 279-3838
Community Information & Referral Services
24-hour helpline
(602) 263-8856
East Valley Addiction Council
24-hour helpline
(480) 962-7711
National Council on Alcoholism
Only available during business hours; press 4 at recording
(602) 264-6214
Open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
(623) 937-9203
Salvation Army Shelters
(602) 267-4130
Maricopa County Shelter Information
ValueOptions Services
24-hour line, web site: www.valueoptions.com/arizona

Valley-Wide Human Services

ANASAZI Foundation
Banner Behavioral Health Hospital (Scottsdale)
Adolescent residential and outpatient chemical dependency
(480) 941-7500
Black Family & Child Services of Central Phoenix

(602) 243-1773
The CARE Center (South Phoenix)
Main Number
Social Worker

(602) 764-5053
(602) 764-5054
Catholic Social Services (Valleywide)
(602) 997-6105
Centro de Amistad (Guadalupe)
(480) 839-2926
Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc.
Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation
Corazon (Males)
De Colores (Females)
Centro de la Familia (Females/Males outpatient)
Via de Amistad

(602) 233-9747
(602) 269-1515
(623) 247-0464
(602) 257-5530
EMPACT-Suicide Prevention Center (E.Valley)
(480) 784-1500
Jewish Family & Child Services (Multi-Sites)
(602) 257-1904
Native Americans Connections, Inc.
(602) 254-3247
NOVA, Inc. (Northwest)
(623) 937-9203
Southwest Behavioral Health Services
Family Counseling

(602) 265-8338
(602) 257-9339
PREHAB of Arizona (Mesa)
(480) 969-4024
TASC Treatment Assessment Screening Center
DrugFreeAZ.com Information Line

(602) 254-7328
1-888-412-TASC (8272)
Valle del Sol (South Central)
(602) 258-6797
ValueOptions Services
24-hour line, web site: www.valueoptions.com/arizona

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Drug Free AZ would like to thank the students of Granada East Elementary School in Phoenix, for allowing panels from their Drug Free Quilt to be included in this publication. The entire quilt, pictured below, was created in celebration of Red Ribbon Week, October 23-31, 2003. (To see a larger view, click on the quilt.)

Drug Free Quilt

Thanks also to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Customs Service, U.S. Department of Education, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America for photos and text included in this publication.

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