Drug awareness program planned while Dunlap mom trying to make difference after son's death

By Audrey Williams

September 25, 2012 Updated Sep 25, 2012 at 7:18 PM CDT

DUNLAP, Ill -- Nearly five months after the death of one of their own, Dunlap High School is taking drug awareness to another level.

"The top three threats in the Peoria and surrounding areas are going to be synthetic drugs, prescription drugs, and the heroin," said Rene Sandoval, the Director of the Multi-County Narcotics Enforcement Group (MEG).

Sandoval said he has seen first hand how parent education can stop drug use in its tracks.

"There was a mother of a 16-year-old boy that became educated," said Sandoval. "(She) didn't know what the name of all the K2 or spice or all the other names were, but her son happened to get a package from FEDEX, opens up the package and this is what was in it. She ended up calling law enforcement, we came over and actually took possession of this."

Sandoval said what some parents don't realize is that hard core drugs can be very accessible to teens in rural areas.

It was just five months ago that 16-year-old Josh Olt got his hands on heroin and died in his Dunlap home of an overdose. Since then his mother, Dr. Tamara Olt, has been educating herself about the problem.

"Still miss him of course, but its helped I've been busy trying to make a difference," said Dr. Olt.

After Josh's death in April, she started the JOLT foundation in honor of her son. The foundation will be, in part, a nalaxone distribution program--a drug that could save the life of someone who overdoses.

Dr. Olt said, "Naloxone is the opioid antidote, so it reverses opioid and heroin overdoses."

She says she would like to see the drug in the hands of family members of anyone who is using or has a history of using. Dr. Olt hopes through education and prevention tools no other mother will have to tell a similar story.

"Its here, look. Parents, teens--its here, we need to do something," she said.

MEG Director Renee Sandoval, along with several other community representatives from law enforcement to intervention, will be on hand Thursday night at Dunlap High School to teach parents, students, teachers, and community members the dangers of drug use

The "Parent Awareness on Drugs and Alcohol" Program will be from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Anyone wanting information can call the high school at 243- 7751.

To learn more about MEG, visit www.peoriameg.com

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