County joins forces for drug awareness seminar


Every generation has dealt with the scourge of the spreading of drugs among our youth. From marijuana to LSD to cocaine to prescription drugs to methamphetamine, there has always been a new drug that has taken over the youth culture. At the Jan. 13 meeting of the Wright County Board, the commissioners announced that a community forum will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, at the Buffalo High School Performing Arts Center to discuss the spread of designer drugs and how the community can identify and combat the latest chapter in the war on drugs.
Sean Deringer of the Wright County Sheriff’s Department said the county will be hosting a Know the Truth drug symposium, which will include a keynote speech from Dan Moran of the Minneapolis field office of the Drug Enforcement Agency. The Know the Truth symposium began holding public forums because of the resurgence of heroin, which has been used as a substitute for those addicted to pain medication.
“It started with a great emphasis on heroin because we’re seeing a huge uptick in the use of heroin,” Deringer said. “Wright County hasn’t had the significant increase in heroin use that counties like Anoka and Hennepin have seen, so we’re gearing our program toward the new synthetic drugs. We’re seeing a big increase in that area.”
The bigger problem in Wright County has been the spread of synthetic drugs such “ecstasy” or “Molly” – not to mention a growing list of designer drugs that are finding their way into the hands of young people throughout the country.
“It’s endless,” Deringer said. “There are synthetics that replicate LSD and marijuana that just keep showing up. Before the state outlawed all of the synthetic drugs, we would identify one and the scientists would just change the chemical compound, so it wouldn’t fall in the illegal substances. It’s an endless list of synthetic drugs that has developed over the last five years. We find things we’ve never seen all the time.”
Similar symposiums have been conducted in recent months in Hennepin, Anoka, Washington, Dakota and Sherburne counties. Deringer hopes the Wright County event will pack the auditorium at Buffalo High School because education is the first arm in fighting the drug war.
“These programs have been real eye-openers for the people who attend them,” Deringer said. “In order to be able to fight against these drugs, we need to be informed and we hope that through the discussions and the question and answer session that will follow that we can help inform and educate people to the dangers these drugs pose and how to identify them. It’s an important cause and we hope to get as many people there as possible to start the education process.”
More information appears in this week's Messenger.
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