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Lynn Reimer, a nationally known speaker on the health effects of drug use, will be featured at a free event Wednesday evening, March 15, for parents and teens at the SteamPlant Event Center, 220 W. Sackett Ave., Salida. The community event has been organized by Family and Youth Initiatives and the Chaffee County Youth Alliance as part of the county’s participation in the Communities that Care program.

Reimer, president of Act on Drugs and also a chemist, is a member of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. This is the federal law enforcement agency under the U.S. Department of Justice tasked with combating drug smuggling and drug use in the United States.

Reimer is also an adviser to the Denver coroner’s office on youth-related drug deaths. She’ll discuss new trends regarding drugs and paraphernalia, including health effects, potency, new products and law enforcement response. While parents may be in the dark about the extent of the drug problem, teens are often far ahead of their parents in understanding the effects of drug abuse on young lives.

A Teen Resource Fair organized by teens will take place in the SteamPlant foyer prior to the presentation. The Teen Resource Fair begins at 5:30 p.m., and complimentary appetizers are planned. Reimer’s feature presentation is scheduled from 6-7:30 p.m.

“The event is planned to help parents, teachers, neighbors and friends understand the scope of the drug problem,” said Miki Hodge, Chaffee County Communities That Care facilitator and leader of the Chaffee County Youth Alliance. “Lynn’s perspective is very insightful and engaging and we hope parents and their kids will come out for this event.”