WCPC looks to revive town hall meetings

WCPC looks to revive town hall meetings
The Weakley County Prevention Coalition met Tuesday afternoon and finalized plans to revive a program put on in the past. The date for their annual town hall meeting was set for March 20 at 6 p.m. The meeting is said to be a town-county information night for anyone in the county, including students, parents and teachers. It is about a three-hour long, forum-style program about drug and alcohol abuse and violence prevention.
Binge drinking reports, power point presentations videos and among other things, are put on by presenters to educate and raise awareness for those in attendance at the meeting.
“It has been well received as far as crowds,” said Tommy Moore of the event in the past.
“If we continue to do it we would hope that more and more people will come and find it educational.” It was suggested at the meeting that the event switch towns within the county each year. This year the town hall meeting will be in Martin but members are still in the process of deciding where to hold the event.
Alarming information was presented during Tuesday’s meeting from research done at two different high schools in the county.
In the data collected, 69 percent of students had claimed to have tried alcohol, 47 percent of students had “ever” smoked and 37 percent had “ever” tried smokeless tobacco. Eleven percent of the students claimed to have used prescription drugs to get high at least once in their lifetime. Members of the coalition said they believe by using these town hall meetings, it will help get some of this information out about how serious teenage drug and alcohol abuse is in the community and, hopefully, get parents on board.
The coalition is also working on a proposal to take to the city and county beer board requiring additional methods of educational training for people who sell or serve alcohol.
By being able to better recognize fake I.D.’s and learning key ways to spot someone who has had too much to drink, a server can decrease the odds of underage or binge drinkers.
The collaboration with local factories about substance abuse programs designed for their workers was also discussed.
Having an educational presentation for workers could help prevent drug and alcohol abuse among those in the manufacturing community. The coalition will begin by trying to seek representatives from different factories to attend the meetings.
Structuring a strong group of as many people as possible to stand behind the coalition is still a big focus for now.
People from different businesses and groups around the county are still needed to help get the message out about drug and alcohol use in the community and how to prevent it.
“People that sell alcohol and tobacco are the ones that we really need in here,” Coalition director Nick Moon stated.
“Just to come to the meeting and talk about how they can help us and how the coalition can help them.”
The next WCPC meeting is scheduled for March 6.

WCP 2.02.12

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