Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Gathering focuses on drug abuse

GREENSBORO — A conference on substance abuse in Guilford County will bring together voices for recovery at the end of the month.The Guilford County Substance Abuse Coalition, a group of more than 40 public and private organizations and agencies, will hold its fourth annual Substance Abuse Symposium on Sept. 29 and 30 at Centenary United Methodist Church.The conference will provide people with information on substance abuse issues and the network of community resources available. About 100 people attended last year 's event and the coalition hopes to draw 150 people this year, said George Coates, executive director of the coalition.A 2002- 03 survey estimated that in Guilford County more than 28,000 people are using illegal drugs and more than 70,000 are abusing alcohol. Flo Stein, a state health official who served as chairwoman of the Mental Health Reform Project, will open the symposium with a presentation and discussion on the mental health reforms and their impact on substance abuse and the community.The symposium will also include training sessions on adolescent substance abuse, treating older adults, family perspectives, gangs and treatment.

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