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Symposium about meth, bath salts, spice scheduled at MMCC

As a sideline of the 80th District Court’s new “Recovery Court,” a “Drugs: Know The Truth” symposium will be held for the public at Mid Michigan Community College on June 14, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. tentatively in the cafeteria.

This event will be free and open to the public.

The symposium, led by Judge Joshua M. Farrell and geared to “tell the truth about drugs,” is a step in the plan to increase public knowledge about “users, abusers, and processing operations” in this area and beyond. “We are going to be showing what makes meth and will have video presentations as well as feature some local families who have been dealing with the problem or may even have lost a loved one to drug abuse.” He said.

Ferrell said, “We are determined to make a difference in our communities… The seminar will be educating people on the impact of these substances in our communities and our efforts to eliminate these deadly substances…As important, we need anyone suffering with these addictions to know they are not alone; help is available.”

Probation Officer Nola Hopkins said the seminar is modeled after another one they learned about during a seminar/training session in Lansing in March. “Drug and alcohol abuse runs rampant here. We needed to do something about it and that starts with information.”

In a recent letter, she said, “If you have picked up a newspaper, or watched the evening news, you are very much aware of overwhelming substance abuse issues facing us today. It is the intent of this symposium to share with the general public, and professionals, how this epidemic impacts each of us.  From senior citizen prescription drug abuse, to Oxicodone, Cocaine, Methamphetamines “Cooking” in our neighborhoods, we recognize it as a dangerous trend, and It Is killing our children. Bath salts, K, and other over-the-counter drugs are being sold in our communities now.

She said even prescription drugs are a real problem, “they are a big business here.”

Enlightenment regarding the rapidly growing problem, for the Citizens of Clare and Gladwin Counties, is our first line of defense,” Hopkins added. “We need to work together to protect our citizens, and save our children, and we feel education is the key.”

Ferrell said the seminar will feature several speakers including, Bay Area Narcotics Enforcement Team Director Mark Uribe; and families against Narcotics leader Judge Davis of the 41st District Court.

Davis will bring students who have had near overdose experiences and parents who have lost children to drug overdoses. Uribe will talk about different substances including bath salts, methamphetamine, synthetic compounds K2 and spice and prescription medication.

“We are hoping for a large turnout, Ferrell said. I’ve already had requests to bring teenagers to the event from area high schools.

“Because of the overwhelming pace of these substances that are coming into our area, we need to be aware. Many people think ‘bath salts’ are something to put in a bath tub. We want to make people aware of what is really going on so they will know what could be coming to our area and watch for it,.” Ferrell said.