Drug prevention is the focus of two events next week in the Osseo and Anoka-Hennepin school districts.
The two separate programs — the Osseo district’s drug abuse prevention town hall held in partnership with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Anoka-Hennepin’s community forum — are both Jan. 19, and aim to educate parents of the young population.
As a result of its town hall, there's hope that parents will have the conversation with their teenagers, said Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Rebecca Gilbuena.
The Osseo and sheriff's office panel at Cross Winds United Methodist Church in Maple Grove is moderated by Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek and will include Maple Grove Police Chief Eric Werner.
The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office has held town halls on heroin over the past year and a half after an increase in opiate and heroin overdose deaths, but it's the first time the sheriff’s office has partnered with school districts across the county with a goal of working with middle and high school parents. After being contacted this fall, Osseo schools was one of the first to accept.
The program will explore topics ranging from current drug trends in the area to advice for parents starting talks with their teens on the subject.
In the Anoka-Hennepin district, Champlin Park High School principal Mike George and parents had "a growing concern" that something needed to be done, said district spokesman Jim Skelly. Next week's event is one in a three-part series continuing in March and April.
Its program will include a presentation from epidemiologist Melissa Adolfson and will include testimonials from former students and a question-and-answer session.
Anoka-Hennepin community forum: Jan. 19 at Champlin Park High School auditorium, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Osseo schools/Hennepin County Sheriff's Office drug abuse prevention town hall: Jan. 19 at Cross Winds United Methodist Church, 6:30 to 7:45 p.m.