REDMOND, OR -- Drug abuse is an increasing problem across the country, especially involving marijuana and opioids. A local nonprofit hosts the first statewide drug education conference, this week. "Clear Alliance has spent the last almost two years traveling the state of Oregon. Everywhere we go, the one thing we continually hear from teens and adults, both, is 'I didn't know that.' So we thought we need to make an opportunity where people can come and can learn, because that was the one pattern we continue to see." Clear Alliance Executive Director Mandy Puckett tells KBND News her group's mission is to prevent and reduce youth substance abuse.
About 40 presenters will offer panel discussions on opioids, marijuana, traffic and roadway safety, and the increasing number of emergency room visits due to drugs. Puckett says, "The focus of our conference is going to be on opioid abuse - which is like prescription drugs - and marijuana. Those are the two drugs, right now, that seem to be where the most information is missing. So, for example, when we travel the state, is often that people don't know about butane hash oil, they don't know about marijuana oils, they don't know about tinctures, they don't know about dabbing and they don't know about marijuana edibles."
"We felt the need to bring people together. Basically, the tagline of the conference is 'where communities and public service come together.' It's a way for citizens, teenagers, parents, business people and public service professionals to come together; and it's a way for the the community to see what public service sees." She expects about 200 participants at the event that runs Tuesday through Thursday at the Eagle Crest Resort.