04/16/04 — Substance Abuse Seminar scheduled

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Substance Abuse Seminar scheduled

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 16, 2004 1:57 PM

Substance abuse is a family and community crisis.

So says the WATCH Substance Abuse Task Force, the sponsor of a free seminar on the subject Tuesday night from 6:30-8:30 in Moffatt Auditorium at Wayne Community College.

Use of marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine are particularly widespread and will be the main focus of this year's seminar.

Ron Jennette, chief operations officer of Professional Nursing Service in Goldsboro, conducts workplace drug testing across the country and has done extensive work in the area of legal and illegal drug use. He will talk about identifying the problem of drug use and the behavioral changes that accompany it.

"Behavior is the only thing a good drug addict can't change," he said.

Inhalants are also still a problem, he said, especially for young people and typically when they are alone. "It's not a social thing," he said. "You don't usually hear about 'huffing' parties."

Gasoline, household items, and spray whipped cream are popular choices for inhaling, he said.

But unlike other substances, there is not a drug test to determine use.

"The only test for inhalants is death in the emergency room," he said.

Marlene Hubbell, a member of the task force, said that because of that, parents need to be reminded about the potential dangers of inhalants.

"I would like to see the awareness kept out there," she said.

Gina Price will discuss prevention and treatment options. She works for the N.C. Division of Vocational Rehabilitation as a rehabilitation counselor managing cases in Wayne County.

Joyce Kelly, chairman of the task force, will talk about detoxification. She has worked with addicts and their families for over 30 years and is a licensed professional counselor, certified rehabilitation counselor, certified clinical addictions specialist, and a registered nurse.

Dual diagnosis will be addressed by local psychiatrist Dr. Louis Gagliano, who has worked at O'Berry, Cherry Hospital, Duplin County Mental Health Center, and the New Beginnings Program when it was in Wayne County.

Several community members will also share their stories.

"We have speakers from Al-Anon who will talk about substance abuse in terms of its affects on the family," Ms. Kelly said. "And we have a young person who is a child of an alcoholic and also a recovering addict himself."

She said the public is encouraged to attend, whether or not the issue is currently a personal or family problem. There will a question and answer period and handouts available for reference.