The Fort Bend Community Prevention Coalition (FBCPC) held its second annual, Fort Bend Drug Symposium experts at the Missouri City Community Center on April 20, or “4/20” a date that both marijuana smokers and non-smokers recognize as a national holiday for the cannabis culture.
FBCPC wanted to put a positive spin on this day by convening national speakers to address marijuana, synthetic drugs, and cutting edge prevention strategies. The symposium welcomed and appreciated opening remarks from, U.S. Rep. Pete Olson. He shared the need for community collaboration to effectively prevent substance abuse.
Ed Shemelya, coordinator of the National Marijuana Initiative, High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), presented on the impacts of marijuana legalization on public health and safety. Dr. Arlo Weltge, clinical professor at the University of Texas Medical School – Houston, spoke about the medical and psychological effects of synthetic drugs. Sierra Castedo-Rogers from the University of Texas – Austin, discussed prevention science and community solutions.
The event was hosted by the FBCPC, a program of Fort Bend Regional Council on Substance Abuse (FBRC) and co-sponsored by HIDTA. Community prevention partners included: Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Missouri City Police Department, Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center (PaRC), and Westpark Springs.
“The FBCPC serves a vital role in protecting the health and welfare of all people in our larger community,” Coalition Coordinator Payal Patani said. “Our volunteers are dedicated to reducing substance use among youth.”
The FBCPC seeks to build capacity for community-level changes that result in fewer young people becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol.
For more information, visit www.fortbendcpc.org.