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Drug abuse forum set

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By Shannon Brock

Think drug and alcohol abuse isn’t an issue in Anderson County? Think again.

The Anderson County Champions for a Drug-Free Kentucky know that drug and alcohol abuse is a serious problem and are planning a town hall forum to bring the issue into light.

The forum will be Thursday, March 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Anderson County Middle School.

A panel discussion featuring representatives from the judicial system, Kentucky drug court, local law enforcement and government, emergency and health services, Bluegrass Prevention and the local ministerial association will be the highlight of the evening.

Panelists will share experiences about how they see drug and alcohol abuse in the community through their jobs.

“This is an awareness event,” said Ryan Forbes, who will be on the panel representing Bluegrass Prevention. “It’s not really about prevention yet, but we’re hoping people will take what they see here and get involved.”

Forbes said there is a tendency for community members to get stuck in an “it doesn’t happen here, it doesn’t happen to us” mentality.

“It’s time for people to get their heads out of the sand,” Forbes said.

People hear the statistics about those who smoke, drink or do drugs and they tend to think those numbers are “normal,” Forbes said.

The perception of smoking and alcohol abuse as a problem is also low, he said.

“But it is a problem, and it’s not normal,” he said.

Free child care will be provided during the event by the Anderson Youth Community Council, and free food will be provided for those in attendance.

E-mail Shannon Brock at sbrock@theandersonnews.com.