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College of Public Health

National Conference

National conference on meth and drug problems to be hosted by ETSU


JOHNSON CITY – The growing problem of methamphetamine and substance abuse use in Appalachia will be the theme of a major health conference in 2006 hosted by the College of Public and Allied Health at East Tennessee State University.

The event is slated for March 20-22 at the Centre at Millennium Park and will address community approaches to the problem of drug abuse, prevention options, funding strategies, and coalition building.

Conference organizers will be encouraging applications from community teams comprised of individuals representing the agencies, offices, and groups that cope with the effects of substance abuse, particularly methamphetamine production.

“Methamphetamine use devastates communities through human and environmental degradation and is a major threat to the health of the public,” said Dr. Creg Bishop, Interim Dean of Public and Allied Health at ETSU. “This conference will emphasize a whole-community approach to substance abuse problems with the goal of assisting each team to complete a take-home action plan.”

Support from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, and the Southeast Public Health Training Center at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill will be used to offer competitive scholarships to qualifying team members who attend the conference.

Bruce Behringer, ETSU Assistant Vice President for Rural and Community Health and Community Partnerships, convened a planning workshop earlier in the fall that brought together individuals from various stakeholder groups, including public safety, government, mental health, public health, medicine, environmental protection, and the media.

This group concluded that the problem affects entire communities and requires greater awareness and the sharing of proven prevention and treatment methods.

“No one owns this problem – no one profession, no one individual, and no one community in Appalachia,” Behringer said. “By bringing people together, we can see intersections and gather different opinions that could bring about resolutions and strategies that work.”

Application forms for scholarships and conference registration will be distributed in December 2005. Attendance will be limited. For more information, send an email to or call (423) 439-7658.

The event location is at Centre at Millennium Park.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact .

You may call (423)439-7658 for more information.

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