National Drug Consultant Speaks In Long Beach

A can of hair spray or diet pills can be found at your local drug store or perhaps in your medicine cabinet. But what looks "normal" may be deadly in the wrong hands.

About 50 people gathered at the USM campus in Long Beach to hear a message by retired LAPD narcotics detective Trinka Porrata.

She is an expert in new drug trends, ranging from prescription drugs to a date rape drug known as GHB, and Thursday's forum served as a stepping stone to fighting the drug problem.

"For one thing it's no longer that little group of kids. It could be any kid. It could be the best kids and the worst kids you know that are now involved. In the summer of 1995, I was working a little bit in this field and we had four kids that collapsed on the streets of Hollywood. Two of them died and were brought back to life by the paramedics and that was the first time I was introduced to the drug GHB and that's when I said 'No. Wow,' and I've been obsessed ever since then with this," said drug consultant Trinka Porrata.

Porrata's obsession has lead her to Harrison County, which has witnessed the drug-related deaths of more than 120 people over the last three years.

Gulfport Police captain and forum organizer Pat Pope says its time for all of us to take responsibility.

"I saw a lot of lives cut short. I'm pretty active in youth sports over here in Long Beach and one of the individuals that died I had coached previously, and he was a bright young fellow, a good student. And he didn't mean to kill himself, and he was trying to get out of it and he didn't make it and I just felt we needed to do something," said Pope.

Even though forums like this may not reach everyone, if it reaches one person, then it's well worth it.