Jasper, Ga – As reports continue on the rising trend by high schoolers across North Georgia using Vape devices, Pickens County Schools Superintendent Dr. Carlton Wilson has officially released a statement regarding it.
Calling for help from parents and guardians, Dr. Wilson reminds them that using or sharing a vaping device is a violation of the Code of Conduct and could lead to criminal charges now as five students have been physically harmed by the devices this year alone. Two of these students have been hospitalized from their use.
With the rising popularity across North Georgia, this larger issue has reached through neighboring Gilmer and Fannin counties as well.
Wilson spends much of his statement informing citizens about the devices and what they look like, comparing them to ink pens, flash drives, and even a computer mouse. The devices operate by vaporizing a liquid solution for the user to inhale.
While these device’s websites and packaging say they are intended for use with nicotine and flavoring solutions, the real danger comes in this rise of using other drugs and solutions in the devices, Wilson states that students have been utilizing THC oil (marijuana) in the devices causing a higher concentration than other forms of ingestions or inhalation.
The issue worsens as other drugs besides THC is used. Wilson quoted a CNN report in his statement saying, “Water-soluble synthetics are easily converted into liquid substances. It makes it nearly impossible to tell what is inside someone’s vape. It could be nicotine, marijuana concentrate, or fruit-flavored nicotine-free ‘e-liquid,’ popular among kids. Or worst of all, it could be a deadly concoction of chemicals, known as synthetic drugs.”
Wilson goes on to note that a student may not even know what they are inhaling until it is far too late. He adds that in these vapes, students could be inhaling “meth, kratom, LSD, or other illegal chemicals.”
Wilson invites citizens to be a part of the Monday, September 24, day of events involving the Office of the Sheriff, the District Attorney, and Pickens School district as they hold assemblies for students in Pickens High School and Pickens Junior High School. There will also be a meeting for parents involving an informational meeting and the ‘Chat with the Superintendent’ at Pickens High School at 6 p.m.
Read the full statement here:
DALTON, Ga. – Flu Shots are now available at NO COST to residents at public health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties. Healthcare plans will be billed on behalf of clients who have coverage, and there is no charge to anyone who is not under a healthcare plan. No appointment is necessary – “Walk-ins” are welcome. Residents are urged to take advantage of these no-cost to client flu shots while supplies last.
It is not too late to get a flu shot. In fact, the time is crucial. Georgia, along with 48 other U.S. states, is experiencing widespread influenza activity, with 37 flu-related deaths currently reported in Georgia, including four in north Georgia – and those numbers are expected to increase since the flu season has not yet peaked.
The current flu vaccine effectively protects against three of the four influenza virus strains that are circulating.
Locations and phone numbers for the participating north Georgia county health departments are:
- Cherokee County Health Department: 1219 Univeter Road, Canton, GA 30115, 770-345-7371 and 7545 North Main Street, Suite 100, Woodstock, GA 30188, 770-928-0133;
- Fannin County Health Department: 95 Ouida Street, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, 706-632-3023;
- Gilmer County Health Department: 28 Southside Church Street, Ellijay, GA 30540, 706-635-4363;
- Murray County Health Department: 709 Old Dalton-Ellijay Road, Chatsworth, GA 30705, 706-695-4585;
- Pickens County Health Department: 60 Health Way, Jasper, GA 30143, 706-253-2821; and
- Whitfield County Health Department: 800 Professional Boulevard, Dalton, GA 30720, 706-226-2621.
Health officials also remind the public that flu is extremely contagious and can spread easily from person to person; therefore, anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms – such as fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches, headaches, fatigue or nausea – is urged to stay home during the severest symptoms and for at least 24 hours after fever is gone. More information about preventing the spread of flu, such as frequent handwashing and covering coughs and sneezes, is on the North Georgia Health District website at http://nghd.org/pr/34-/938-widespread-flu-in-georgia.html.