Surfing police officers raise drug awareness

The Law Enforcement Officer Surfing Association has made a splash in the community by targeting drug awareness programs towards students.

“LEOSA is a Florida non-profit corporation,” Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Agent Troy Deavers said. “The goal is to bring free drug-abuse awareness programs to high schools in order to combat the growing prescription pill abuse amongst high school students.”

Approximately 26.9 percent of Brevard County high school students and 18.2 percent of middle school students reported using illicit drugs other than marijuana in their lifetime, according to the 2010 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey.

“We have noticed a dramatic increase in the number of high-school students committing crimes in order to pay for their prescription drug addictions,” Deavers said. “We have spoken to many teenagers who, after their arrest, have admitted that their addictions to the pills were so strong they would have done anything to get more.”

Deavers, Stephen Fernez and Brandon Gish came up with the idea in October 2011 while surfing.

“I feel that it is a very inspiring organization that can help benefit our community,” said Nathan Johnson, a sophomore and member of the school’s Surfing Service Club. “It is important because we live so close to the ocean.”

By Liam Wixted