ER nurse demonstrates drug overdose scene for students

By Trang Pham-Bui - bio | email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Their faces showed looks of disgust.

"Oh!" the students reacted in shock as they watched the screen.

"Isn't that amazing?  Isn't that absolutely unbelievable?" the speaker asked them.

It was no horror movie.  The 'before and after' pictures actually showed how drugs can cause your body to rot in just a few years.  The lesson came from a woman who has seen too many teens fighting for their lives because of drug abuse or alcohol poisoning.

"She passed out. She threw up and she choked on her vomit," Linda Dutil told the teens.

Dutil has worked 12 years as an emergency room nurse in Maine.

"I take care of those teenagers who've come to the ER as a result of poor choices. It's very sad and very scary," she said.

On Tuesday, Dutil shared her ER experiences with 7th and 8th graders at St. Patrick High School in Harrison County.

"This is the age when kids are starting to be exposed to drugs and alcohol. And this is the age, developmentally, when they are really starting to form those choices," Dutil said.

Dutil showed students what to expect if they overdosed and are rushed to the hospital.

"This is the tube that we use to put into your stomach," Dutil said, holding up a long plastic tube.  "The other thing I want to mention is that we usually go through the nose."

A stomach-pumping demonstration, gross pictures, and personal stories really drove home the message.

"The fact that how your teeth can rot like that, that's gross," eighth grader Collin LeTard said.

"It was pretty cool, because it's somebody who's been there and seen everything and so she knows everything from first-hand experience," eighth grader Wesley Atkinson said.

"You need to realize that you have the power to save your friend's life.  Please always, always  help your friend. And please do whatever it takes to stay safe," Dutil told the crowd.

Dutil also spoke to students at Ocean Springs Middle School. Her "Dose of Reality" program was sponsored by Rex Distributing.

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