Town Hall on Methamphetamines
The Health Council and Border Area Mental Health Services (BAMHS) will host two town halls this week to discuss methamphetamine abuse and how it is affecting our community. Everyone is invited to discuss this community crisis. Law enforcement, judges, schools, social service, kids and adults are describing it as a huge issue in our county. If you or your family or friends have been effected by meth, if your neighborhood has been impacted - come and help us work on a plan.
To the left is Grant County Sheriff Raul "Bully" Holguin discussing the drug problems in the County at the Health Council's Annual Forum in July 2004.
For more information on the town halls read the article below.
Bayard Town Hall will be on Wednesday, October 27th at the Cobre Fine Arts Theater at 5:30 -8:30 p.m. at 1300 Tom Foy Blvd.
Silver City Town Hall will be on Thursday, October 28th at the Global Resource Center at 5:30 -8:30 p.m. at the corner 12th and Louisiana Seton NM campus.
For more information call John Eich at 388-9708 ext. 23.
Town Hall to tackle meth issues
Silver City, New Mexico, October 25, 2004: This week two town halls will tackle the growing community crisis of methamphetamine abuse in the county. The Grant County Community Health Council and Border Area Mental Health Services (BAMHS)are sponsoring the gatherings to discuss this drug and the devastating impact it is having on our area.
Jim Helgert, L.A.D.A.C. says, “Our four-county area is in the southwest drug corridor.” Helgert is the is program manager for BAMHS Methamphetamine and Inhalant Prevention and Intervention Program, a multi-component program offering intensive family support services for those using methaphetamines and community prevention education. He says the methamphetamine problem has been exploding in our community from the drug corridor trade, but also from local manufacturing.
The recent undercover investigation by a team of area law enforcement agencies called “Operation Millennium” seized several pounds of methaphetamine and arrested 55 individuals. Lieutenant Detective Joe Sublasky says, “The arrests for methamphetamines has gone up astronomically in the last few years. This drug is being use how marijuana was 10 years ago. It gives an extended high and is cheaper than most other drugs.”
Local Magistrate Judge Ron Hall sees the impact methamphetamine abuse has on our community, besides the rise in cases involving the drug his court has seen, “Methamphetamines have a suffocating grip on this county…It is effecting all sections of this (Grant) county from petty larceny to violent crimes and human life as it destroys families.”
Methamphetamines are a toxic, stimulant drug manufactured in illegal laboratories and is highly addictive due to the “rush" or intense feeling of pleasure when taken. Methamphetamines are referred to by a variety of street names, such as "speed," "meth," and "chalk." The buildings where Methamphetamines are manufactured are considered hazardous chemical sites by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and must be cleaned up by professionals versed in dealing with hazardous chemicals, according to Helgert. He says most sites are located in rental houses or hotel rooms. This has started to impact property owners in the county as plumbing, walls and carpeting must be replaced when a lab is cleaned up; all at the expense of the property owner.
The Chief of Grant County's Juvenile Probation and Parole office, Gary Stailey, has seen an increase in cases at his office. “It's reached a crisis level, meth has the capacity to be manufactured and distributed locally and that makes it more scary to me than most other drugs,” Stailey confides.
Stailey, also co chair of the Health Council, says the input of citizens is essential to solving this problem. “Citizens bring a totally different insight to the problem and have a realist approach to the problem because they are the ones dealing with it on the front lines.”
With so many sectors of the community reporting the affects of this drug are impacting the county, the Health Council hopes the town halls will be a place the community can come together and find solutions. “We need to be more aware of this drug and the reproductions it is having on our community,” said John Eich, Heath Council coordinator.
The Town Halls will be held in two different locations in the county: In Bayard on Wednesday, October 27, 2004, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Cobre Fine Arts Theater at Cobre High School at 1300 Tom Foy Blvd. and in Silver City, on Thursday, October 28, 2004, in the WNMU Global Resource Center on the corner of 12th Street and Louisiana Street.
For more information on the town halls please call John Eich at 388-9708 ext. 23.