Communities Overcoming Meth Abuse, an organization created five years ago to address the local "meth epidemic" is hosting a public meeting Thursday to re-evaluate group goals and direction for the next three years.

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Communities Overcoming Meth Abuse, an organization created five years ago to address the local "meth epidemic" is hosting a public meeting Thursday to re-evaluate group goals and direction for the next three years.

COMA to re-evaluate direction

Anti-drug organization schedules public meeting to look at group goals

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What: Communities Overcoming Meth Abuse monthly meeting

When: Noon to 1 p.m. Thursday

Where: Moffat County School District administration building, 775 Yampa Ave.

• COMA is requesting input from the public - non-users and former users included - on the re-evaluation of organization goals and future direction.

For more information, call 824-2662 or 326-8726.

— A gradual decrease in public participation has prompted the grassroots, anti-drug organization, Communities Overcoming Meth Abuse, to schedule a public meeting this week designed to re-evaluate group goals and its direction for the next three years.

COMA is seeking public feedback on those two questions, it announced in a news release.

"The board and committees are made up of concerned (residents) from across all levels who are responding to the meth epidemic and are seeking to get at the heart of what is driving the need for it," COMA reported in the release. Public feedback "will be greatly appreciated."

The meeting is scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday at the Moffat County School District administrative building, 775 Yampa Ave. Input from the public - "non-users and former users" - is needed, COMA reported.

COMA has been established for five years with stated goals of methamphetamine education, eradication and rehabilitation, said Neil Folks, chairman of COMA's spiritual outreach program and a member of its board of directors.

But, public participation has waned recently, Folks said, to the point where COMA meetings generally are attended by board members and few others. That decrease, he said, is behind the need for COMA to "re-evaluate where we're at and where we want to go from here."

The educational aspect of COMA is strong, Folks said, but there is a continued need for it to improve and broaden.

"If meth is increasing, education needs to increase," he said.

One way to enhance educational efforts, he said, is to begin addressing "what's behind the need to use meth."

"We need to ID the real cause," Folks said, adding that reasons people generally turn to drugs has a basis in "deep-seated emotional problems." Addressing those problems before people get to meth, he said, needs to play a more prominent role in education.

For more information about the public meeting, call 824-2662 or 326-8726.

Joshua Roberts can be reached at 875-1790, or jroberts@craigdailypress.com.

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