Today: Community Meeting on Chemical Use—Awareness, Prevention and Resources

Community meeting at the Gillespie Center sponsored by nearly a dozen Lake Minnetonka public awareness advocates.

An educational community forum in Mound last November brought together drug experts and community leaders in an effort to increase awareness about heroin and prescription narcotics in our community. To further expand on the issues raised that evening, a second community forum will take place from 6:30-8 p.m. today, Feb. 21, at the Gillespie Center.

Parents, students and community members are invited to attend this free presentation to learn more about drugs and drug prevention resources in the community. Following a short introduction, attendees will be able to attend two of three, 30-minute breakout sessions:

Breakout Session 1: School Resources
The Westonka School District will host a breakout session that will include administrators, counselors, students and school resource officers who will give a short introduction and answer questions on how parents and students can work with the schools on issues related to chemical use.

Breakout Session 2: Law Enforcement Resources
Participating police departments, in cooperation with the West Metro Drug Task Force, will be present to display common street drugs and items commonly associated with drug use. Officers will also share concerning trends they have observed related to drug use and abuse as well as trends in the distribution of illegal drugs. Participants will be given the opportunity to interact with the officers on these issues and others related to policing drugs in our community.

Breakout Session 3: Community Resources, Support & Treatment Options
A small panel of recovery professionals, including chemical health counselors and mental health therapists, will briefly describe their areas of expertise. Collectively, we will offer helpful answers related to the question, "Where do I turn for help?" Financial costs and considerations, continuum of treatment options, case management support and family support issues will be addressed by these panelists:

  • Steve Hanson, LADC, Chemical Dependency Program Director, Nystrom & Associates Counseling.
  • Cindy Fleming, B.S. LADC, Sr. Chemical Health Counselor, Hennepin County, Project Child.
  • Judi Hanson, LADC, Director of Community & Family Outreach, Sobriety High School.
  • Mary Beth Polski, MA, LADC, LPCC, Chemical & Mental Health Counselor, Wayside House

For more information on the community drug forum, contact:

Howard McMillan, MA, LADC
MN-Recovery Counselors, LLC

Kevin Borg, Superintendent, Westonka Public Schools
952. 491.8001 borgk@westonka.k12.mn.us

Correy Farniok, Police Chief
Orono Police Department

Sponsors for this public awareness meeting:The Cities of: Mound, Orono, Spring Park, Minnetrista, Minnetonka Beach, Orono Police Department, Minnetrista Police Department, Mound Crime Prevention Association, Westonka School District, St. Bonifacius & Minnetrista Crime Fund


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