Summit '95 organizers take aim at drug abuse They hope conference will develop strategies for attacking problem

September 28, 1995|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,SUN STAFF

Organizers said they hope Carroll County Drug Summit '95 in November will generate ideas and strategies for dealing with drug abuse and related crime in the county.

"We'd like to see some action come out of this," said Teresa Rowland, assistant prevention coordinator at Junction Inc., a private, nonprofit substance abuse treatment and prevention center in Westminster.

The event, sponsored by the Carroll Commissioners, is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 17 at Wilhelm Ltd. Caterers in Westminster. About 100 people are expected to attend.

Commissioner W. Benjamin Brown said he came up with the idea for the summit after sitting in a courtroom last year listening to a judge sentence repeat drug offenders. The judge was not giving many stiff penalties that day, which didn't seem right, Mr. Brown said.

He said he wanted to bring together law enforcement officials and others in the community to talk about drug issues and find out if they could "focus in one direction."

Mr. Brown said he hopes judges and representatives from the state's attorney's office will attend.

Joyce Tierney, prevention coordinator at Junction, said organizers also will invite people involved in drug treatment and prevention programs, youth-related services and community agencies.

Debbie Burk, a 911 shift supervisor who is helping to organize the event, said she hopes the summit generates ideas to promote awareness of drugs and ways to prevent drug abuse.

After hearing a variety of speakers and discussing the issues, she said, participants will make recommendations to judges and the state's attorney about ways to deal with drugs. Speakers have not been chosen, she said.

Participants may decide to form a coalition to continue working on the issue after the summit, Ms. Tierney said.

Commissioner Richard T. Yates urged organizers to involve school officials and students in the event.

The commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to spend up to $2,000 on the summit.

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