Substance abuse awareness forum Thursday | Local News

In an attempt to raise awareness about the increasing rate of substance abuse in Klamath Falls, Operation Prom Night will host a public forum at the Sky Lakes Medical Center Community Health Education Center at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Chairman of the Operation Prom Night Committee, Leon Spiesschaert, said he invited guest speaker Shelley Campbell from Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland to address the controversial topic of substance abuse among students.

“There has been recent events in the community that has involved drugs and the high school age generation,” he said. “My goal is to create community education and awareness and hopefully create a task force of community leaders and members to address the issues.”

Campbell is the coordinator of Injury Prevention and Outreach Education, Youth and Families, with the Trauma Services and the Trauma Nurses Talks Tough Program at Legacy Emanuel.

In 2015, Spiesschaert said 33,000 people died from heroin overdoses across the nation, and while drug use is not new news, he said more people need to be concerned with its increasing popularity, especially among high school aged students.

The event on Thursday will be broken into two parts, beginning with an educational session for high school teachers about the types of drugs out there and the ones that are most popular among students, which Spiesschaert said will enable them to recognize the symptoms and note any similarities among their students.

Later in the afternoon, at 2 p.m., Campbell will talk to the public about the types of drugs that are prominent in the Portland area and the ones that are becoming more popular locally, including newer synthetic drugs and different forms of…

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