~In Memoriam of Wendy and Kimberly Sands~.............

Rally turns up the volume on message: 'I need no drugs'

By LINDY BAINS/Special to the Daily Press

VICTORVILLE -- The dark clouds and rain disappeared for the No Drugs America Day at Grady Trammel Park on Saturday.

The event, billed as "a day in the park with parent's, kids and no drugs," was meant to promote drug prevention, sometimes through those who once abused narcotics.

Tonette Boyd, a volunteer at the event, was once a cocaine user. Her drug dependence brought her a 5-year prison sentence after a conviction on a grand theft charge.

After her release, she kicked her cocaine habit for good with the aid of mentors and a 12-step program. She now works as a student assistant teacher at Long Beach City College and her volunteer efforts have brought her several awards.

One point made at the event was that drug and substance abuse not only affects the users but also the lives of those around them.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving displayed a horribly mangled vehicle, which made an emotional impact on those who viewed it.

In 2000, a mother and her 6-year-old daughter were killed instantly in the vehicle when it was struck by a drunk driver. The driver was traveling 93 mph to purchase more beer. The driver had two prior DUI's and was on probation for another offense.

Sherry Hampton-Sands, the mother and grandmother of the victims, said that such a loss takes a long time to heal and leaves a big hole in your heart.

No Drugs America Association Inc. organized the event, with backing from San Bernardino County and more than a dozen municipal and civic organizations.

Noting a recent assessment that showed drugs and substance abuse as the top concern in the High Desert, No Drugs America tries to stop drug abuse before it starts.

The organization also has an intervention process for those with existing drug and alcohol problems. Its recently launched media campaign sends a strong message: "Say it Loud, 'I Need No Drugs!' "



   

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