Youth prevention specialist speaks on addiction
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.
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.