‘Marijuana & Youth’ forum to be held in Lewiston Tuesday

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LEWISTON — The Lewiston Auburn Public Health Committee and Healthy Androscoggin will present a forum on “Marijuana & Youth” from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 28, at Lewiston Middle School.

The forum will present the latest data and science on marijuana and feature local experts sharing their experiences with how marijuana is impacting the youth and the community.

Data from the 2013 Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey shows that 19 percent of high school youth report using marijuana in the past 30 days, virtually unchanged since 2009. There has been a dramatic jump in marijuana use among middle school youth, rising 54 percent from 2011. Androscoggin County has the highest rate of middle school youth marijuana use in Maine.

Area parents and community members will have a chance to learn from experts. Following the forum, a panel of local experts from education, law enforcement, and the medical and behavioral health fields will share their experiences and thoughts on how the community can address this rising concern.

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“We’ve seen how the community coming together can make an impact on underage drinking and prescription drug abuse. While we continue that work, we feel it is vital that we rally the community to address this emerging issue we are having with marijuana,” according to Healthy Androscoggin Substance Abuse Prevention Manager, Scott Gagnon.

The forum is free and open to the public. For more information, call Healthy Androscoggin at 795-5990. Details are also available at: www.healthyandroscoggin.org

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