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WHAT: Program to educate the general public how to recognize the signs and symptoms of drug abuse. This program is co-sponsored by the Knox County Metropolitan Drug Commission (MDC) and the University of Tennessee’s Law Enforcement Innovation Center (LEIC).

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 16.

WHERE: Sarah Simpson Professional Technology Center, 801 Tipton Ave. in Knoxville.

NOTE: Pre-registration was required for those who plan to attend this program. However, the media are invited to attend and cover. Note that video and photography may be prohibited when sensitive information is presented.

A narcotics investigator, an epidemiologist and recovering drug users will be among the panelists at this program to educate the general public how to recognize the signs and symptoms of drug abuse.

A similar workshop in November drew an overflow crowd of parents, educators, law enforcement officials and others.

Among the presenters:

• Richard Holt, state coordinator of the Tennessee Drug Recognition Expert Program, who will discuss the human effects of the seven categories of drugs and observation tests that are used to determine if someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
• Stephanie Armbrister, epidemiologist with the Metropolitan Drug Commission, who will present the results of MDC’s recent school survey, the 2005 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
• Ed Kingsbury, a narcotics investigator with the Knoxville Police Department, who will talk about local trends in drug use.

Personal testimonies will be given by a panel from Helen Ross McNabb, as well as a young woman in recovery from alcohol and prescription drug abuse.

Resources also will be available to participants free of charge, including the East Tennessee Behavioral Health Treatment Directory published by Peninsula, a division of Parkwest Medical Center.

LEIC is an agency of UT’s statewide Institute for Public Service (IPS).


Queena Jones, (865) 974-1533,
Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034,