Friday, 01 June 2007 01:00
Drug ConferenceWritten by WGCU Newsroom
Drug abuse and treatment professionals from around Florida will converge on downtown Fort Myers Monday (today) for a conference on addictive disorders.
Roughly 600 professionals from around the Sunshine State will choose from among 27 workshops throughout the day on topics such as interventions, gambling, and what’s being called “the graying of addiction”.
Executive Director of the Coalition for a Drug-Free Southwest Florida – Keral Kronseder-Vogt - says elders with addiction problems often aren’t identified because people tend to misinterpret symptoms.
“We tend not to see problems which initially seem like they are physical, which actually are related to a misuse of alcohol and medication. It’s a very important issue, and considering our population in SWFL, which is heavy on our elders, a topic that definitely needs attention.”
Kronseder-Vogt says while it’s a growing issue among seniors, prescription drug abuse is rising even faster among kids.
The conference gets underway Monday morning at 8 am at Harborside Event Center in Fort Myers. The public is invited.
Southwest Florida teens consistently rank near the top of the list when it comes to underage drinking rates in the Sunshine State.
Ways to combat that trend will be one of many topics presented Monday at the Lee County Coalition for a Drug-Free Southwest Florida’s 6th annual Conference on Addictive Disorders.
The Coalition’s Executive Director – Keral Kronseder-Vogt – says in the past underage drinking was often seen as a rite of passage, but it’s a lot more dangerous than previously thought.
“We know that if adolescents drink it’s not just that they have great danger of being in an accident and killing themselves and other. What recent research has indicated is that there is enormous, longstanding and perhaps permanent brain damage done to areas of the brain which determine the personality. Which determine our ability to make logical, reasoned decisions.”
Kronseder-Vogt says she expects rising underage drinking rates and the rise of methamphetamine addiction to be hot topics at the conference, as well as- at the other end of the spectrum - the so-called ‘graying of addiction’.
And she says while it is a professional addictions conference at Harborside Event Center in downtown Fort Myers, anyone can attend. Information is on line at www.DRUGSWFL.org.