Pubdate: Sat, 27 Mar 2010
Source: Huntsville Times (AL)
Copyright: 2010 The Huntsville Times
Author: Anthony Young


A group of southeast Madison County citizens are  getting ready to
launch an education program in an  effort to curb drug use and
underage drinking in their  towns.

The Southeast Madison County Coalition has already  aired public
service announcements provided by the  federal office of National Drug
Control Policy on local  cable TV stations and have begun compiling a
list of  facilities and resources, including treatment programs,  Web
sites and churches.

"Drugs have been a major problem in southeast Madison  County for
years," said Dave Martin, chief of police in  Owens Cross Roads. "We
don't just want to put sellers  and users in jail, but we also need to
educate  juveniles and the general public."

In a meeting earlier this week, the coalition - with  the help of
Partnership for a Drug-Free Community -  proposed plans for two
community "meth forums" that  will be held Aug. 17 at New Hope
Hospital and Aug. 24  at Gurley Columbian Presbyterian Church. The
goal is to  establish training for high school students interested  in
volunteering to teach drug and alcohol awareness  programs.

The coalition was formed last August after law  enforcement officers
raided two methamphetamine labs  within a 5-mile radius of Chestnut
Grove Methodist  Church.

About 30 residents, government and faith leaders, law  enforcement
officers, business leaders, civic groups  and educators joined the
coalition to address the  county's drug problem.

"The best way to make a difference is to collaborate,  work together
and share resources," said Deborah Soule,  the director of Partnership
for a Drug-Free Community. 
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