Drug Task Force holds Community Conversation


By Aimee Hancock - ahancock@aimmediamidwest.com



BOTKINS — The Shelby County Drug Task Force will hold its third Community Conversation on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at St. Paul’s Church, located at 301 State St., in Botkins.

The event, which begins at 7 p.m., is free and open to the public. It will involve informative and interactive discussion regarding the drug crisis currently plaguing communities throughout Shelby County.

Prior to the conversation, beginning at 6 p.m., a local expert from the Tri-County Board of Recovery and Mental Health Services will host an interactive drug-awareness presentation called “Hidden in Plain Sight.”

This presentation is geared toward parents and will give them a chance to search a mock teen bedroom in the hopes of educating them to the ways drug and alcohol abuse can be “hidden in plain sight.”

According to Margo O’Leary, member of the Shelby County Drug Task Force, this is the first time the presentation will be included in the Community Conversation event.

“We’re hopeful that parents will be able to come out and join the conversation, but also have an opportunity to take a look at the bedroom and raise awareness of potential activities that their kids could be involved in,” O’Leary said.

The conversation segment will be moderated by Scott Barr of the Shelby County United Way, and will include panelists representing seven other Shelby County organizations. These agencies are also Drug Task Force partners.

Representatives from the Department of Job and Family Services, the Counseling Center, the Shelby County Commissioner, the Sheriff’s Office, the Prosecutor’s Office, Wilson Health, and Botkins Police Department will be in attendance on the panel.

“(Barr) will go through a presentation and share with the audience data and stats from the different entities that sit on the Shelby County Drug Task Force,” O’Leary said. “Following that, we open it up to an interactive discussion involving our panelists.”

“The floor is open,” O’Leary continued. “Audience members are able to ask any questions pertaining to the information heard in the data portion or any questions that they have regarding the drug crisis in our community.”

O’Leary said the previous two Community Conversations, both held in Sidney, each drew a crowd of about 100 people. The hope is that holding the event in Botkins will give those from a different area of the county the opportunity to join in on the discussion.

By Aimee Hancock

ahancock@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach the writer at 937-538-4825

Reach the writer at 937-538-4825