Anti-meth group gaining momentum |

Anti-meth group gaining momentum

Dixon, Wyo., mayor, Bob Dunckley, was so interested in getting an anti-drug group started in his community that he attended Thursday night’s Communities Overcoming Methamphetamine Addictions meeting in Craig.

The leader of the town of 75 people said that methamphetamine use also is growing in Colorado’s neighbor to the north.

“It’s a big concern,” he said. “It’s pretty bad; even the smallest town isn’t like it used to be.”

Dunckley, who works for a major energy company in the area, admitted that employees hired on to work the long hours are somewhat responsible for the increase in drug activity.

But, it was the small-town mayor’s interest in forming a COMA group in Wyoming that indicates that the anti-drug movement might be growing, Craig police Sgt. Bill Leonard said.

“I think that has come from the connections of Craig with Baggs,” he said.

Since its formation almost a year ago, COMA members have spread awareness about methamphetamine use and its effects on a community. Members have traveled to towns in Wyoming’s Carbon County and Routt County to the east to educate people about methamphetamine use — an issue that is clogging court dockets and sucking up law enforcement’s resources.

COMA members said at their Thursday night meeting that they are making progress on installation of a drug court for Moffat County. A drug court would allow a faster process for prosecuting drug offenders. They scheduled a meeting with Moffat County’s District Court judge in an effort to further hammer out that process.

Possibly the best part of the formation of a drug court is that it requires drug offenders to seek treatment in lieu of jail time.

Currently, outpatient treatment is available in Craig, however the closest in-patient treatment centers are in the larger city centers of Grand Junction and Glenwood Springs, and along the Front Range.

But COMA members aim to change that.

They have secured a feasibility study to determine whether an inpatient treatment center would be viable at The Memorial Hospital, after that building is vacated for a new hospital. Group members will meet later this month with the firm responsible for the study to talk about those details.

“It did start. It did happen,” COMA member Annette Gianinetti said Thursday. “At least we have a feasibility study in the process. That’s a start.”

In other advancements, group members want to invest in a large billboard denouncing meth use.

Group member Joel Sheridan said he viewed several similar billboards recently driving through Rawlins, Wyo.

“Our mission is to make noise and keep meth on the front burner,” he said. “I think that’s one way to do that.”

Amy Hamilton can be reached at 824-7031.

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