FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Drug and alcohol use and abuse continues to be a rising concern for area parents, school leaders, law enforcement and the judicial system in Forsyth County.
After a successful Drug Summit was held in November, organizers say there’s still more to share with parents.
A second Drug Summit is set to take place at 7 p.m. on Feb. 25 at the Forsyth Conference Center, 3410 Ronald Reagan Boulevard in Cumming.
A Drug Awareness Council was also created to address the stunning statistic that four out of five students will try drugs and/or alcohol before their senior year of high school and over half of all young people will have tried an illicit drug prior to senior year.
“This epidemic has infiltrated our county as well,” said Sherry Ajluni, who lost her son Brandon Schiff, a South Forsyth High School graduate to addiction. Brandon died of an overdose in 2010.
“We’re losing children to overdose and incarceration due to drug use,” Ajluni said. “This has to stop."
The Forsyth County Drug Awareness Council, created by Forsyth County Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills, is tasked with educating residents on drug use in the county, promoting prevention programs and providing lists of resources for residents on what do to when they suspect a loved one is abusing drugs or alcohol.
The first drug summit was held in November and about 500 people took part in the event.
The summit taking place on Feb. 25 will address the types of drugs that children are exposed to, including a demonstration of what the drugs look like by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.
A session on what parents should look for including what can lead to drug use and several new resources for those who have a loved one with substance abuse issues.
Booths will also be set up with additional information and private discussions.
“Our goal is to prevent youth from trying drugs and alcohol,” Ajluni said. “Addiction is a disease. You never know whom it will hit and like cancer, it can only be overcome with treatment.”
Find more information at www.forsythcountydrugawarenesscouncil.org.
Aldo Nahed is a member of the Forsyth County Drug Awareness Council.