National expert Carol Falkowski will address parents about drug use

Drug abuse expert and author, Carol Falkowski, will discuss the far-reaching and increasingly dangerous nature of substance abuse among today’s youth at a public forum for parents entitled: “Heroin in Our Community: What Everyone Needs to Know.”

Carol Falkowski
Carol Falkowski

This educational forum, sponsored by Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in East Bethel, will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11 at the church, 19001 Jackson St.

There is no cost to attend and it is open to all interested community members, with a focus on parents.

A question and answer period will feature a panel of local community members including:

•Michelle Anderson, St. Francis Community for Drug Awareness (SFCDA)

•St Francis Police Chief Jeff Harapat

•A mother who lost her son to heroin overdose death

“Parents need to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding drug abuse,” Falkowski said. “Educational forums like this help separate fact from fiction, give parents fresh practical ideas for addressing the issue, and provide a unique opportunity to have their questions answered.”

Falkowski’s presentation is an overview of substance abuse among young people today including alcohol and marijuana, the fastest-growing threats of heroin and opiates, as well as the new synthetic drugs of abuse including so-called “bath salts” and “synthetic THC.”

Falkowski is the former drug abuse strategy officer of the Minnesota Department of Human Services and author of “Dangerous Drugs: An Easy-to-Use Reference for Parents and Professionals.”

She has monitored drug abuse in the Twin Cities for almost three decades as part of a nationwide network of researchers convened by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Upon retiring in September 2012, she founded Drug Abuse Dialogues to advance the understanding of substance abuse through education and dialogue.