Pubdate: Sat, 19 Oct 2002
Source: Daily Mountain Eagle (Jasper, AL)
Copyright: 2002 Daily Mountain Eagle
Author: Brian Kennedy, The Daily Mountain Eagle
Bookmark: (Drug Education)


A community drug awareness forum designed to inform and educate parents of 
the dangers and potential signs of youth drug use will be held at 6:30 p.m. 
Wednesday at Maddox Middle School.

The meeting is a collaborative effort of the city of Jasper and the Jasper 
City School's Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Program advisory 
council. The Jasper Ministerial Association is also involved, as many 
churches will forego Wednesday evening services and urge members to attend 
the forum.

"I think everyone understands the drug problem we have in our country, and 
Jasper is not totally immune to the problem. It will require everyone 
working together to fight this plague that has invaded our country," Jasper 
City Schools superintendent Phillip Woods said. "Knowledge is an important 
weapon in this fight, and this forum provides us with an opportunity to 
educate parents in the community."

A number of representatives, ranging from youth experts and law enforcement 
officials to the parent of an ex-addict, will present short presentations 
on the topic of youth drug use. Afterwards, the presenters will be a part 
of a panel to address questions from the audience.

Due to the graphic nature of areas to be addressed during the forum, 
children will not be allowed to attend the meeting.

"The intention of the forum is to show parents what is going on with their 
children, what to look for in behaviors that might indicate possible drug 
use, and where to get help if there is a problem," Jasper mayor Don Goetz 
said. "The meeting is patterned after a meeting we held last year that was 
extremely informative for those who attended."

The forum is part of Red Ribbon Week, which is a national campaign to be 
recognized Oct. 20-26.

The campaign is in honor of DEA agent Enrique Camarena, who lost his life 
at the hands of drug traffickers 12 years ago. In response to his death, 
angered people across the country began wearing red ribbons as a symbol of 
their commitment to being drug-free.

"What we really need is more involvement and that is what we are seeking 
with the awareness forum. I think it will be very informative and a lot can 
be gained from attending," Woods said. "If it empowered someone who 
attended and enabled us to keep one kid off of drugs, then it would be 
worth it."

The Jasper Police Department has also joined in the effort to generate a 
large crowd for the forum by collecting a number of door prizes to be given 
away at the meeting.

Local business donating door prizes included the Jasper Mall, Hudson Pawn 
Shop, Jasper Gun & Pawn Shop, Lowe's, Barry's Furniture, Carl Cannon 
Chevrolet, Express Lube, J.C. Penney, Handy T.V., Goody's Clothing Store, 
Captain D's Restaurant, Big Lots, Auto Zone, Advance Auto, Sherwin 
Williams, Victoria's Restaurant, Belk's, K-Mart, Napa Truck & Auto, Viking 
Office Supply, Lawson Auto Parts, Witcher Office Supply, Sportsman Center, 
Garfield's Restaurant, Gabby's Restaurant and Old Timers Restaurant.
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