Housing agency staff to learn about drugs

April 20, 1999|By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan | Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF

Annapolis Housing Authority employees will spend two hours immersed in the drug culture this morning, learning how a crack cocaine pipe can be crafted from a soda can and what a "Loveboat" is (marijuana sprinkled with PCP).

Far from being illegal, the drug and paraphernalia class has been ordered by their boss, Patricia Croslan. And their instructor -- Annapolis City Police Lt. Robert E. Beans -- is on the right side of the law.

"It's of great importance for people to be able to identify drug paraphernalia, particularly when they work in an environment where they might come across it," said Croslan, the Housing Authority director. Croslan said she approached Beans three weeks ago about teaching the class to her 50 employees. In classes for city supervisors, Beans introduced 83 managers to a variety of drugs, laying out samples so that they could see what the drugs looked like and teaching them terminology so that they might recognize whether an employee is a drug user from office conversations.

Beans also listed telltale signs of drug use: how crack cocaine can make a person extra energetic, heroin causes fatigue and PCP (phencyclidine hydrochloride) can cause hallucinations.

He talked about items associated with drug use, such as syringes, razor blades, mirrors and crack pipes fashioned out of aluminum cans. "A person could be using drugs right in front of you and you wouldn't know it," Beans said. "I know one young lady painted her fingernails with Wite-Out so she could sniff it.

"The person may even be wearing drug paraphernalia in front of you," he said, describing necklaces of tiny cocaine rocks that have been found on some users.

Croslan said she hopes the class will help her staff recognize what drugs and paraphernalia look like so that they'll know what they're dealing with during inspections or maintenance of apartments or buildings.

Pub Date: 4/20/99

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