Pubdate: Thu, 22 Mar 2001
Source: Athens Daily News (GA)
Copyright: 2001 Athens Newspapers Inc.
Address: PO Box 912, Athens, GA 30603
Fax: 706-208-2246


On Feb. 23, an 18-year-old Athens Tech student collapsed at a 
downtown Athens music club. The next day he died.

Friends of the teen told police investigators that he had taken 
methamphetamines, smoked marijuana, drank alcohol and ingested the 
designer drug ecstasy before his collapse.

Realizing that they may all be vulnerable to similar tragedies, 
downtown Athens bar and restaurant owners are working together to 
keep history from repeating itself. About 30 business owners gathered 
Tuesday for a special forum to discuss ways to identify and react to 
potential drug overdoses.

The forum, which was sponsored by the Athens Downtown Development 
Authority, included presentations by a University of Georgia drug and 
alcohol counselor and the director of emergency medical services at 
Athens Regional Medical Center.

The group was urged to take precautions when it comes to drug use 
among patrons. The UGA addiction counselor told the business owners 
that she's worked with students who unknowingly had drugs such as 
ecstasy, GHB, Rohypnol and LSD slipped in their drinks at bars.

We believe downtown bar and restaurant owners should be praised for 
their efforts to prevent similar drug-related tragedies from 
occurring again. It demonstrates that they care about the safety of 
their customers and aren't just concerned about the bottom line.

This is also not the first time downtown bar and restaurant owners 
have taken a pro-active stance when it comes to safety issues. 
Similar forums have been held on other issues, such as preventing 
underage drinking. In a town with tens of thousands of college 
students and an extremely active bar and club scene, it is crucial 
for business owners to act responsibly. Without effective 
precautionary measures and enforcement of drinking laws, 
alcohol-related deaths and injuries would be a much more common 

We applaud those bar and restaurant owners who are going out of their 
way to make sure that the safety of their patrons is a priority.
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MAP posted-by: Kirk Bauer