Davidsonville * Edgewater * Shady Side * Deale

ANNAPOLIS/SOUTH COUNTY --

October 27, 1992

Former Annapolis drug czar checks into Tennessee alcohol rehab program

Eric Avery, Annapolis' former drug czar, has checked himself into an alcohol treatment program in Nashville, Tenn.

Mr. Avery, who was selected from a field of 75 candidates to head the anti-drug program in Nashville, Tenn., decided to take his own advice, city officials said.

He entered the Tennessee Christian Medical Center in Madison, Tenn., 10 days ago and is expected to begin intensive outpatient treatment this week, said Tam Gordon, press secretary to Mayor Phil Bredesan.

"It came as a total shock to everybody," Ms. Gordon said. "Nobody had ever seen him drink."

Mr. Avery is expected to return to work within 10 days and will keep his $52,000-a-year job if he continues treatment and undergoes random drug tests, she said.

While in Nashville, Mr. Avery came up with a popular slogan, "Drug-Free Nashville -- It Begins With You."

Annapolis officials said they also were stunned to learn of Mr. Avery's problem.

"It's amazing. He was always such a teetotaler," said Alderman Carl O. Snowden, who worked with Mr. Avery on drug prevention campaigns.

Former Mayor Dennis Callahan, who hired Mr. Avery in January 1989, said he only saw him drink once in public.

Mr. Callahan said he admired Mr. Avery's courage in coming forward with his problem.

"It takes a special kind of courage when you're in a position like that," he said. "But I'll say this, too -- alcoholism affects everybody, from the park bench to the judge's bench."

Mr. Avery worked at the federal Office of Substance Abuse Prevention in Rockville before accepting the position in Annapolis.

He also headed the county's drug program for four years during the 1980s.

Annapolis teen charged with drug possession

An 18-year-old Annapolis man was charged with possessing four small bags of marijuana after being questioned by police Saturday night in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant on West Street.

Police arrived at the restaurant about 9 p.m. after receiving a complaint that a man was scuffling with a teen-ager in the middle of West Street, blocking traffic.

Dexter Tyson, of the 400 block of Captain's Circle, was charged with possession after police searched him and found the four bags containing small amounts of marijuana, police said.

POLICE LOG

* Lothian: Vandals broke into a home in the 6200 block of Southern Maryland Blvd. Friday and stole appliances.

* Davidsonville: A man reported to police that someone broke into his shed outside his home in the 800 block of W. Central Ave. and stole a .22-caliber rifle Thursday.

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