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Authorities and professionals agree that Roane County has a serious drug problem involving different kinds of drugs.
The usual culprits in drug arrests involve illegal substances such as marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine and LSD.
But beyond these illegal drugs, legally prescribed medications are being stolen and misused by today’s drug addicts.
In an attempt to warn the area’s young people and to inform parents about the dangers of all drugs, the Roane County Sheriff’s Office will present a countywide youth and parents drug awareness conference on May 12.
The conference, from 9 a.m. to noon in Grace Community Church at 438 W. Race St., Kingston, will include a video about methamphetamine, personal testimonies by three former drug users, question-and-answer sessions.
There will also be separate breakout sessions for parents and youth and a tour of the Roane County Jail.
The conference is open to the public. A free nursery will be available at the church.
Free lunch will be provided for all those in attendance.
Part of the discussion will center around synthetic drugs, a relative newcomer to the drug scene.
Synthetic drugs are legal, everyday items that mimic the effects of illegal drugs. Drug users who do not want to run the risk of arrest if caught using illegal drugs can use such common, household things as bath salts, potpourri or hand sanitizer to achieve an induced euphoria.
Roane County Sheriff’s Office makes a number of arrests of young offenders who use illegally used legal medications, illegal drugs and synthetic drugs.