Youth pre­ven­tion spe­cial­ist speaks on ad­dic­tion

The Kent Island Bay Times - - News - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

CEN­TRE­VILLE — It only takes three cig­a­rettes for a kid to get ad­dicted to nico­tine and about 30 sec­onds to feel the ef­fects of a fin­ished beer, ac­cord­ing to youth pre­ven­tion and ad­dic­tion spe­cial­ist Ray Lozano, who spoke in Queen Anne’s County on Thurs­day, March 29.

Lozano, who trav­els through­out the United States pre­sent­ing to youth about the dan­gers of sub­stance use, cap­ti­vated lo­cal res­i­dents at Cen­tre­ville United Methodist Church and Stevensville Mid­dle School through an en­gag­ing, some­times funny, dis­cus­sion about al­co­hol, nico­tine and how the body re­acts to those sub­stances.

In the 40-minute pre­sen­ta­tion, Lozano and his daugh­ter, Brooke Lozano, went into de­tail about how some­one’s body at­tempts to flush al­co­hol out of its sys­tem, how peo­ple should re­spond when deal­ing with an ine­bri­ated in­di­vid­ual, and the ef­fects of e-cig­a­rettes, also known as vape pens.

Lozano said when some­one’s body rec­og­nizes the pres­ence of al­co­hol in the blood­stream, the brain sends out mes­sages in­di­cat­ing a poi­son is present. Three ma­neu­vers the body com­pletes to rid the poi­son from the body are the “three P’s”—pee, puke and pass out.

One rea­son peo­ple have hang­overs af­ter drink­ing is be­cause the body, in reaction to the al­co­hol, at­tempts to get rid of it by forc­ing the per­son to use the bath­room, Lozano said. By us­ing the bath­room more fre­quently than usual, the body be­comes de­hy­drated.

The sec­ond “safety method” the body uses to cleanse it­self is to cause the per­son to throw up, fur­ther get­ting the poi­son out of the body, Lozano said.

The third ac­tion of pass­ing out, used when some­one “can’t pee or puke it out fast enough,” is the body shut­ting down so no more sub­stances can be con­sumed. The dif­fer­ence be­tween pass­ing out and sleep­ing, he said, was when some­one has to use the re­stroom while sleep­ing, their body wakes up. When some­one is passed out, he said, the ac­tion of wak­ing up while go­ing to the bath­room does not hap­pen, caus­ing the per­son to do it while un­con­scious.

Be­hind the right eye, Lozano said, is the frontal lobe of the brain, which un­til 21 years old is not fully de­vel­oped. That por­tion of the brain, he said, is the first thing af­fected by al­co­hol. Once that is area is af­fected, hu­mans lose the abil­ity to “pre­dict the fu­ture.”

Lozano de­scribed hu­man’s abil­ity to “pre­dict the fu­ture” by paint­ing the pic­ture of a youth stand­ing at the top of a hill in a shop­ping cart. When the youth de­cides to roll down the hill sit­ting in the cart and re­al­izes there is an ob­ject in its path, the abil­ity to make a de­ci­sion based on pre­dict­ing what would hap­pen if the ob­jects col­lide is lost.

He said the abil­ity to make a quick de­ci­sion is di­min­ished, and for an adult his size takes less than two full beers.

The sec­ond abil­ity hu­mans lose while im­paired is be­ing able to keep mus­cle con­trol. Signs of lost mus­cle con­trol in­clude slur­ring of words and stag­gered bal­ance and phys­i­cal con­trol.

Two au­di­ence mem­bers were brought to the church’s aisle and were asked to walk about five feet in a straight

line, sim­u­lat­ing a field so­bri­ety test a law en­force­ment of­fi­cer would pro­vide. The sec­ond time Lozano asked them to com­plete the same task, each were given al­co­hol gog­gles that sim­u­lated the vi­sion of some­one with a blood

al­co­hol con­tent level of 0.17.

Walk­ing the same five feet, each wob­bled and flailed, much to the en­joy­ment of the au­di­ence.

Lozano, who has never drank or smoked but grew up in an en­vi­ron­ment with drugs around, worked in the emer­gency room and told sto­ries of peo­ple com­ing in in­tox­i­cated and how they acted.

It’s “bet­ter to get in trou­ble for

drink­ing” than to have a friend die be­cause no one called 9-1-1 for help, he said.

If some­one is passed out, Lozano said, the first thing to do is to put them on their side with their back propped up against some­thing so if the per­son throws up they do not choke on their own vomit.

Se­condly, Lozano said to call 9-1-1 as the per­son needs med­i­cal

as­sis­tance — a step many youth skip due to the fear of get­ting in trou­ble.

The third task, Lozano said, is to make sure the per­son is breath­ing 12 to 15 times per minute.

One of Lozano’s main mes­sages to the at­ten­dees: the ear­lier in age peo­ple be­gin us­ing sub­stances, the eas­ier it is for them to be­come ad­dicted.

The Kent Is­land Elks Lodge

sponsored Lozano’s visit in Queen Anne’s County. The Cen­tre­ville United Methodist Church, the Kent Is­land United Methodist Church and the Queen Anne’s County Drug Free Coali­tion also as­sisted with the event.

For more in­for­ma­tion about Lozano, visit his web­site at www. ray­lozano.com.

Follow Mike Davis on Twit­ter: @ mike_k­ibay­times.

A num­ber of youth are pic­tured with Elks Na­tional Drugs and Al­co­hol Pre­ven­tion speaker Ray Lozano (fifth from the left), Thurs­day even­ing, March 29, inside Cen­tre­ville UMC. The event was co-sponsored by the Queen Anne’s County Drug Free Coali­tion and the Kent Is­land Elks, Lodge 2576, in Stevensville. Third from the left, KI Elks Ex­alted Ruler An­gela Meyer, in­tro­duced Lozano.

PHO­TOS BY DOUG BISHOP

Na­tional Elks Al­co­hol and Drug Pre­ven­tion speaker Ray Lozano spoke at Cen­tre­ville United Methodist Church and then Stevensville Mid­dle School, Thurs­day even­ing, March 29, on deal­ing with ex­cess use of drugs and al­co­hol. The pro­fes­sional co­me­dian used a num­ber of en­ter­tain­ing ways to get his mes­sage across. His pre­sen­ta­tion was sponsored by the Elks and Queen Anne’s County Drug Free Coali­tion.

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