Coalition hears from BPD Maj. Knight

Published 4:50 am Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services heard a presentation from Maj. Percy Knight of the Bogalusa Police Department on Tuesday, Nov. 28, at 9:30 a.m. at Elizabeth Sullivan Memorial United Methodist Church. George J. Cazenavette from Drug Enforcement Agency and Knight showed the video, “Chasing the Dragon,” a documentary about the life of an addict.

Later, Knight also presented the “Chasing the Dragon” video to the students at Annunciation Catholic School. The special speaker was Frederick Seal, who spoke to the students about drug abuse and gave a testimony of his own addiction and recovery.

An excerpt from the video tells how addiction started for Melissa: “I went back to the doctor a couple times and got him to refill the medicine to the amount that he couldn’t refill it anymore, so then I started buying OxyContin off the street. Um, from there, um, I, Oxycontin started to be more expensive and harder to find. A girlfriend of mine introduced me to heroin. I could get a whole lot more for a whole lot less. And then once I shot up the heroin that was it from there. My addiction took off, and my daughter was seven months old when I became, ah, physically addicted to heroin intravenously.” To see the video in its entirety, search for it on Youtube.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals reported that St. Tammany had 53 deaths from opioids in 2016 and 14 deaths in Washington Parish.

Drug Take Back Day was held on Saturday, Oct. 28, at Nielsen’s Pharmacy from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Eighty pounds were collected as a result of partnering with the DEA and the Bogalusa Police Department to safely dispose of old medications, all prescriptions (Schedule II-V controlled and non-controlled substances) and Over the Counter medications.

The Prevention Connection, a pre-Coalition meeting, featured a presentation on the dangers of marijuana given by Rhonda Gunnell. A proposed Arrive Alive program was discussed for all Washington Parish Schools with a need for additional funding. Arrive Alive is a program on safe and sober driving. For more information, visit online at

Gail Brigham, Coalition Coordinator, reported on a “Medicine Safety” class for fifth graders at Franklinton Elementary School, which was taught by members of the Washington Parish Youth Coalition.

A representative from Campaign for Tobacco Free Living, Choices, Brightside Social Services, Well Ahead, Louisiana Healthy Community Coalition Region 9 and Our Lady of the Angels Hospital gave information on their latest community endeavors.

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 12, with Omika Bickham of the Southeast Autism Enrichment Center and Wade Adams of Bogalusa Baptist Food Bank. Members will bring holiday desserts. There will be a committee meeting at 8:30 a.m. and coalition meeting at 9:30 a.m.