Parents may get an eye-opening view of the symptoms and effects of methamphetamine use during an hour-long seminar today, the first of three from a community group battling the drug problem in Carson City.
"We've put together a little information seminar with discussions about what the signs and symptoms of meth use are, what landlords and businessmen would look for and they would be seeing. It's a loosely structured overview of what meth use looks like," said Mary Bryan, administrator of the Community Counseling Center and member of Partnership Carson City.
Partnership Carson City, an organization of local leaders, came together after a series of focus groups earlier this year indicated a methamphetamine epidemic was threatening to devastate the community.
According to the Tri-Net Narcotics Task Force, Carson City is a "major hub" for drug traffickers because of its central location at the intersection of highways 50 and 395 and proximity to Reno and Lake Tahoe.
Carson City Mayor Marv Teixeira tagged the drug problem as his No. 1 priority this year. In a recent survey, 65 percent of Carson residents listed drug abuse among the city's biggest problems.
Parents who attend one of the three one-hour seminars will learn the signs of meth use, know the risks, learn where to get help and have their questions answered.
Rory Planeta from Tri-Net will offer examples of what methamphetamine use does to a person by showing mug shots taken over time at a jail in Portland, Ore. The photos have been assembled by Oregon deputy Bret King in a collection called "The Faces of Meth" to show the dramatic changes meth can have on seemingly healthy people.
"I think parents won't believe it could happen to their kid because the photos are so startling," said Mary Bryan. "This seminar will be good because parents will be able to identify when its happening. Hopefully, it will bring up the awareness."
In addition to the definition and results of meth, treatment options will be offered for children and adults.
"The objective is to get parents to identify (meth use) earlier on, so that they know if there is something going on," she said.
The seminars are open to anyone.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 12 million people age 12 and older reported that they had used methamphetamine at least once in their lifetime. Of those surveyed, 597,000 people age 12 and older reported they had used methamphetamine within the past month.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9.8 percent of high school students used meth at some point. Overall, white and Hispanic students were more likely than black students to report lifetime methamphetamine use.
-- Contact reporter F.T. Norton at email@example.com or 881-1213.
If You Go
What: Get the Facts About Methamphetamine
When & Where:
Today from 6-7 p.m. at Bordewich Bray Elementary School, 110 Thompson St.
Thursday from 6-7 p.m. at Carson High School, 1111 N. Saliman Road
Monday from 6-7 p.m. at Eagle Valley Middle School, 4151 E. Fifth St.
All meetings will be in the school library.
A translator will be in attendance.