Alarmed by the rise in heroin and prescription painkiller abuse, Anoka County authorities will host three educational community forums in the coming weeks.

Representatives from the Sheriff's Office, attorney's office and Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge will discuss the dangers of heroin, opiates and prescription painkillers.

"Law enforcement is working to get drugs off our streets, but parental and community involvement are essential in preventing drug accessibility and addiction — it's a team effort," Sheriff James Stuart said in a statement.

Officials say they have found the potency and accessibility of heroin "alarmingly high."

The forums will run from 7-9 p.m. and will include presentations from authorities as well as recovering addicts and their families. Audiences will be able to ask questions.

The dates: Jan. 28 at Eagle Brook Church, 7775 20th Av. N., Lino Lakes; Feb. 6 at Lord of Life Church, 14501 Nowthen Blvd NW., Ramsey; Feb. 14 at Eagle Brook Church, 8498 Sunset Road, Spring Lake Park.

Shannon Prather