COLUMN: DRUGS ARE A PROBLEM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY
DRUGS ARE A PROBLEM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY
I just flew in from Seattle and man are my arms tired. I love that corny joke!
Actually, I have just gotten back from Seattle where I attended the 19th annual Addictions and Behavioral Health Conference. This was my first time to the Evergreen State, and even though its famous for its coffee ( which I don't drink ) and its seafood ( which I don't eat ) and for its rain ( which it only did once the four days I was there ), I fell in love with the place.
It was so pretty and as the state slogan says, green. I know we saw some of the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen as well as a view of Mt. Rainier ( Captain Snow ) and the Space Needle.
I didn't get around as much as I would have liked because the conference kept us busy during the day but it, too, was exciting and well worth the long plane ride. At least two of the speakers ( Dr. Bill O'Hanlon and Dr. Pat Love ) I had seen on "The Today Show" and/or CNN, and one of the other guys is a Duke graduate who is a consultant for the Lady Vols! Anyway, it is always nice to visit with other people from other places who do what you do and get new information.
The biggest drug problems in Seattle? Crack and cocaine. An attendee from Nebraska said they battle meth and marijuana while some of the other participants say ecstasy is their main drug problem.
Interestingly enough, a lady from a treatment center in Arizona approached me on break one day and said, "I heard you talking yesterday, and I assumed you are the one from Crossville, TN?"
I said, "Yes, as matter of fact I am."
She said, "I just want to let you know I have heard about your anti-drug program there in Cumberland County, and I think it's amazing that you guys work in schools and offer after-school and summer programs and counseling."
I must have looked shocked because I wondered how in the world she knew about the TAD Center when she said, "Oh, we visit your Web site all the time. We can't believe that such a small town has so many resources available for drug prevention and treatment."
Well, then, of course, I had to brag. I told her all about our other good programs here: Good Samaritans, the Avalon Center, Bread of Life, Family Resource Center, Imagination Library, Creative Compassions, Habitat, the Health Department, etc. I also told her about the county's birthday celebration, the golf, the Playhouse, the great medical services, etc., and invited her to come visit.
Afterwards she looked at me and said, "Well, if you ever want to get out of the drug prevention business, perhaps you should think about marketing or public relations."
"What do you mean?" I asked her.
She said, "That was a pretty good spiel about your county."
"Well," I said, "don't take my word for it. Come see for yourself!"
By the way, the top question I was asked the entire conference -- "Where are you from?" Finally, after answering this question at least 20 times, I looked at the man and said, "The Bronx." Yeah, right...
Looks like the weekend is going to be good for the annual Relay for Life celebration down at the Community Complex. Relay for Life begins at 6 p.m. Friday night and lasts until 6 a.m. Saturday morning. There will be lots of good food and entertainment, so even if you aren't on a team, get down there and check out the booths and spend some money to help the American Cancer Society.
Pleasant Hill Elementary School's annual talent show is Monday night at the Palace Theatre. The doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the show is at 6 p.m. Tuesday night.
Also at the Palace is the TAD Center's annual talent contest. This is a preliminary to the Knoxville A&I Fair's talent contest. It will begin at 6 p.m.
And congratulations to Cumberland County High School talent show winner Leila Nelson. Nelson, a senior at CCHS, is a member of Advanced Choir, the CCHS Dance Team and performs at Cumberland County Playhouse.