|Casper Journal Articles
From the Natrona County Public Library
A Bold New Year's Resolution
By Kevin Kocur, Reference Librarian
January 10, 2007
With each New Year come New Year’s resolutions. Individuals set goals to lose pounds, read more, save money, or start a new hobby. Natrona County has a New Year’s Resolution: Eliminate Meth. To some this may seem impossible. To others drug abuse does not seem like a big deal. However, statistics show that it is a big deal: meth use among our youth is nearly four times higher than the national average.
So what is being done? From January 10th through the 12th top specialists from our state and throughout the nation are in Casper to provide strategies to take on this epidemic during the statewide Methamphetamine Conference. The Casper Police will be looking at law enforcement issues. Health professionals will look at ways to get people back on their feet. Community organizations including Natrona County Public Library will be developing preventative measures.
What is the library’s role? The library is a community partner. One of our missions is to develop bonds with groups that seek to make our county a better place to live. We do this by working with organizations that promote healthy living, groups that encourage intellectually challenging discussion, and we purchase materials that can be used by citizens to make important life decisions.
Some of these materials include “This Place,” a documentary that exposes media messages about alcohol to our youth, and a book discussion kit for “Meth: The Home-Cooked Menace.” These as well as many other materials can be used by youth, church, and school groups as well as families, to bring the topic out into the open and shift the way our community perceives drug abuse.
In addition to these efforts, NCPL and Mercer House are co-sponsoring David Blankenhorn’s appearance at the conference. Blankenhorn’s message is more than something you hear during a break in primetime television or read on a car bumper. His primary objective is to integrate youth back into our culture.
As youth go through a variety of dramatic life changes, a community that is supportive is the best defense against future drug abuse. Another speaker, Dr. David Moore of Johns Hopkins University, will be working with a group of community organizations to address prevention and treatment issues.
Natrona County citizens can learn more by attending a free session during the conference, held Thursday, January 11, 6:00 PM at the Parkway Plaza. This panel discussion will be conducted by local expert Dr. Toews, and includes several recovering addicts from our community. NCPL encourages you to bring your families to listen to these brave individuals as they describe their ordeals.
Your library has been working on the prevention side of the meth issue by acquiring materials and developing programs that encourage strong community values. If your organization would like to partner with the library in this effort, contact Kevin Kocur at 237-4935, ext 2. By working together as a community, we believe we can achieve Natrona County’s bold New Year’s resolution.
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