North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Arlington drug problems come "Out of the Shadows"

“Out of the Shadows,” a March 26 presentation, will bring awareness to drug problems in Arlington.

 


The Arlington Drug Awareness Coalition’s “Out of the Shadows” event will bring to light personal stories of Arlington youth who have struggled with drug addiction and other information about local drug abuse.

This is the first major event from the newly formed coalition and will be a kickoff event to raise awareness about the problem of drug abuse in Arlington, said coalition member and public information coordinator for the Arlington School District Andrea Conley.

The event is on March 26 at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center and begins at 6 p.m. Childcare for younger children will be provided by the National Honor Society.

Presenters include school administrators, law enforcement officials, health care representatives and recovery specialists.

They will discuss a wide range of topics, including what addiction looks like, what drugs are being used, the physiological and emotional effects of drug and alcohol, the resources available for those struggling with addiction, how to support those with addiction and tactics to prevent drug abuse, according to Conley.

“We hope people will become more aware, better educated and have an understanding of substance abuse, so we can develop good prevention strategies for all of our community, youth and adults alike,” said Conley.

An information fair will also be held before and after the presentation, where families will have an opportunity to see positive youth activities as well as treatment, recovery and support options for those at risk.

Although focused on Arlington, people in the surrounding area are welcome as well. “We are hoping other local communities will join us since this is a nationwide problem,” said Conley.

The Arlington Drug Awareness Coalition was formed late last year as an alliance of community members attempting to bring change to drug abuse in Arlington.

After Arlington Police and Arlington School District staff met and discussed the rising drug problem, staff members at the school district felt a community group needed to be formed for outreach and awareness and therefore started the coalition, according to Conley.

“Arlington and the surrounding communities are great places to live and people who live here care about each other and this coalition was formed out of that caring spirit,” said Conley.

They plan to hold a panel discussion as their second public event on June 11 as well.

To learn more about the Arlington Drug Awareness Coalition visit http://www.arlingtonaware.com.

 

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