If you go
What: COMA methamphetamine awareness seminar
Where: Moffat County School District Administration building, 775 Yampa Ave.
When: 6 p.m. Monday
• This is a free meeting about the dangers of meth abuse in the community. Refreshments will be provided. For more information, call 824-2662 or 326-8726.
Craig Neil Folks, member of the board of directors for Communities Against Meth Abuse, paraphrased satirical comic strip character Pogo Possum in his assessment of combating methamphetamine abuse.
"I have met the enemy - and he is me," Folks said.
Folks stressed the importance of community involvement in the issue.
"We have to get at the problem from a different angle," Folks said. "We tend to look at it from the outside in, when we should be looking from the inside out. We have to wonder why people try to fill their needs with drugs, how dealers prey on them and what we can do about it."
COMA will host a meth awareness seminar that is open to the public at 6 p.m. Monday at the Moffat County School District Administration building. The meeting is aimed at the general community and their participation with COMA's efforts to help meth addicts.
COMA board member Jessie Cramer described the presentation that will be given by her husband, Tom - a former meth addict - and Deputy Ryan Hess as "compelling."
"It's basically the same presentation they've given for the Chamber of Commerce," she said. "The difference is that they're not focusing on meth in the workplace. This time will be more about how families are affected by it. Parents can get information on the problem because a lot of people don't realize that kids are at risk."
Cramer said Judge Michael O'Hara also will be in attendance to discuss the area's meth situation. Both are involved in the Moffat County Drug Court committee, which works with community members struggling with substance abuse.
"Anybody who's interested in learning how to help with the problem should come," Cramer said. "We need the community's support."
Photos of Craig residents dealing with meth addiction will illustrate how severe the drug can be.
"It'll have more of an impact for them," Folks said. "It should hit close to home."
Folks also chairs COMA's Spiritual Outreach Program.
Ron Schaeffer, member of several COMA committees, said Tom Cramer's appearance will show that not all addicts show the same traits.
"People like to hear from former addicts, but Tom is atypical," Schaeffer said. "Looking at him now, you wouldn't think he ever had a meth problem. Not everybody has the same outward signs, and I think that's why there's such apathy and a lack of understanding. People don't recognize the problem."
Andy Bockelman can be reached at 875-1796.