Pubdate: Wed, 01 Nov 2000
Source: Bangor Daily News (ME)
Copyright: 2000, Bangor Daily News Inc.
Author: Diana Graettinger


CALAIS -- Parents concerned about a growing prescription drug problem
in the city will have an opportunity to share their concerns with the
top federal prosecutor in Maine.

U.S. Attorney Jay McCloskey will be at the Calais High School at 6:30
p.m. Monday, Nov. 6, to address parents and anybody else.

A question-and-answer session will follow the meeting, which was set
up by a newly organized anti-drug group.

In the past few months, an organization called Washington County
Communities Against Heroin/Opiates has divided into subcommittees in
an effort to address all aspects of the prescription drug problem.

The smaller groups cover such topics as the Legislature, parents,
medical and mental health, law enforcement and schools.

Carrie Perkins-McDonald, Union 106 prevention specialist, urged
parents to attend Monday night.

She said she had received a number of telephone calls from parents and
others who indicated they would like to be involved in the group.
"They want to be on our subcommittees and want to do something about
the problem, but are just not sure what, so Jay is going to point us
in the proper direction," she said.

Parents are asked not to bring young children into the meeting.
Child-care service will be available in the high school gymnasium.

Last month, McCloskey was invited to attend a meeting of the newly
formed organization, but a scheduling problem interfered.

Even though Maine ranks 39th in population (1.2 million), the state is
the nation's second-largest consumer of the synthetic narcotic
OxyContin. In Washington County alone, there are 100 suspected opiate
and heroin traffickers. During the past year, sales of such drugs have
increased in Washington County

McCloskey has been taking his message on the road to talk with
parents, education professionals and students as he crisscrosses the

Maine Drug Enforcement Agency agents, along with officers from other
law enforcement agencies, recently charged eight people in eastern
Washington County with drug trafficking during a sweep that netted
police synthetic narcotics, including a quantity of Dilaudid tablets.

That synthetic narcotic is frequently smuggled into Calais from St.
Stephen, New Brunswick, just across the St. Croix River, or it is
diverted from legitimate prescription use.

On Nov. 20, McCloskey will return to Calais to talk with students at
the high school. There also will be a discussion about hepatitis C and
the AIDS risk associated with drugs. 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake