In May, two Sultan teenagers in a single week went to the emergency room due to the effects of smoking “spice,” a marijuana substitute sold as incense.
One of the incidents happened right outside the Sultan Library.
“That’s what got the whole conversation going about whether this was an issue we could cast light on,” said Julie Titone, Communication and Marketing Manager at Sno-Isle Public Libraries.
“Drugs in Our Communities,” a panel on the extent of the drug problem along the US 2 corridor and what can be done to “stem the tide of crime, overdoses and ruined lives,” was the result.
The panel will be presented twice by Sno-Isle Blbraries and Everett’s KSER-FM; first on Thursday, Aug. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Snohomish Library, and then Thursday, Aug. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Monroe Library.
Panelists will include detective David Chitwood of the Snohomish Regional Drug and Gang Task Force and Bart Wheaton, a chemical dependency counselor at Catholic Community Services and Cocoon House.
Ed Bremer, KSER’s news and public affairs director, will moderate the event and invite questions from the audience.
To follow the events live on Twitter, follow #snoisleITM.
The panels are part of the Issues That Matter programs of Sno-Isle Libraries, a series that began in 2010 with a panel on a proposed state income tax.
“The Issues That Matter series has been about a very impressive list of topics that can cause a lot of questions and concerns,” said Jackie Personius of the Sultan Library. “They are able to bring experts together to provide information and provide a forum for people to discuss.”
The issue of drug use has long been a serious concern nationwide, she said, but the recent overdoses in Sultan have heightened concern locally.
“I think community members coming together to hear each other’s concerns, and to be able to express and listen to a variety of view points on current issues, is always a good thing for our communities,” said Personeus. “I just hope that we have people turn out so that they can learn from the experts that we have there.”
To see a list of resources on addiction and other issues associated with drug abuse, see http://sno-isle.org/issues-that-matter.