Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico to Co-Host Methamphetamine Prevention Conference in Albuquerque, October 30-31

Press Release October 10, 2007
Media Contact

Reena Szczepanski at (505) 699-0798 or Jeanne Block at (505) 983-3277

NEW MEXICO–What is happening with methamphetamine use in New Mexico? What are communities doing to respond? How do we protect our young people and ensure that they grow into strong, healthy adults? What is an effective substance abuse prevention program?

People will gather to answer these questions and many more at Building Positive Communities: A Public Health Approach to Teen Methamphetamine Prevention in Albuquerque, October 30-31. The conference, organized by the Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico and partners (see complete list below), will provide current data, research, reality-based strategies and skills building for effective substance abuse prevention programs for youth to hundreds of attendees. “This conference is so unique because it will give communities the skills they need to initiative effective prevention programs, rather than promoting ineffective scare-tactics,” said Reena Szczepanski, Director of Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico, “We won’t just be talking about the problems in our communities – we’ll be offering solutions.”

“Today our prisons are full of young men and women convicted on drug charges. Meanwhile drug use continues unabated throughout our nation, in communities big and small, rich or poor. That is why this conference is so important for our future struggle against meth, heroin and other dangerous drugs. It is my hope that by coming together and sharing experiences and information we will be able to coordinate strategies and take new ideas home to our communities,” wrote Lt. Governor Diane Denish in the conference program, “More importantly this conference represents a societal realization that there is no one size fits all solution to the drug epidemic.”

The conference is one component of a U.S. Department of Justice grant awarded to Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico and championed by U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman. Two other components of the grant — a social marketing campaign and regional trainings — will be initiated at the conference.

There will be numerous topics addressed, including:

– Methamphetamine Trends: Hear a wide range experts discuss meth use, prevention, treatment, and community efforts!

– Community Coalition Building: Learn the secrets of success from a nationally-recognized trainer and from community coalition members from around the state!

– Effective Drug Education: Identify reality-based approaches to drug education for youth and learn hands-on skills for more effective teaching!

– Beyond Zero Tolerance in Schools: Examine models for school-based restorative justice and student assistance programs!

– Marketing: Learn the “how-to’s” of creating a social norms marketing campaign!

– Voices of Youth: Hear what youth think about drugs, gangs, and drug education!

The Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico’s Conference Sponsors and partners include: New Mexico Department of Health, New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department, and ValueOptions NM, Albuquerque Partnership, Citizens Against Meth-Silver City, New Mexico Parent-Teacher Association, Otero County Meth Coalition, NM Public Education Department, San Juan County Meth Coalition, and San Juan County Partnership.

Visit http://www.kessjones.com/NMDPAHomePage.html today to register for the conference.

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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