As a community outreach project following the publication of the Daily Herald's four-day series on the rise in heroin and club drug use in the suburbs, the newspaper will sponsor a panel discussion: "The Hidden Scourge: A Community Forum."
The forum will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Jan. 29 at the Arcada Theater, 105 E. Main St., in downtown St. Charles.
Carol Falkowski, a nationally known researcher and expert on adolescent substance abuse, will be the lead speaker on a panel that will include people who have seen drug use from the law enforcement end, a parent who has had a child die from a drug overdose and recovering users themselves.
Daily Herald Projects Editor Madeleine Doubek headed up a team of reporters and photographers that over four days in December brought to light the breadth of drug abuse in the suburbs with more than 20 stories, plus graphics and photos.
"Heroin and club drugs really are a clear and ever-present danger to the well-being of our teens and young adults," Doubek said. "That hit home as we documented the stories of affluent, active teens falling prey to the power of the drugs.
"The 'Hidden Scourge' series prompted such strong reaction from teens, parents, teachers and others that we wanted to do more to shed light on a critical concern in our communities. We hope the forum will help in the search for solutions."
Falkowski is director of research communications for the Hazelden Foundation and is the author of "Dangerous Drugs: An Easy-to-Use Reference for Parents and Professionals."
Among the panelists will be:
- Kate Patton of Rolling Meadows, whose daughter Kelly Baker died from an overdose of the drug Ecstasy.
- Kane County Judge James Doyle, who pioneered a drug treatment court in Kane County.
- St. Charles Police Chief Don Shaw, whose department has been tracking heroin users and the crimes they commit to get money for drugs.
GRAPHIC: Community forum
What: "The Hidden Scourge: A Community Forum." A look at the rise of heroin and club drugs in the suburbs.
When: 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29
Where: Arcada Theater, 105 E. Main St. (Route 64), St. Charles. The Arcada is one block east of the Fox River.
How: Admission is free, but seating is limited. If you'd like to attend, please call the Daily Herald's voice-mail line at (630) 587-8612 and let us know how many people will be in your group.