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News (Media Awareness Project) - US MI: BASES Director: Prescription Abuse, Marijuana Use Up
Title:US MI: BASES Director: Prescription Abuse, Marijuana Use Up
Published On:2012-01-27
Source:Charlevoix Courier (MI)
Fetched On:2012-01-31 06:01:24

Scott Kelly Reports on Drug Abuse Trends in Charlevoix County

CHARLEVOIX - Local prescription drug and marijuana abuse are on the
rise, plus there are new threats in the form of readily-available
products, according to D. Scott Kelly, executive director of Bay Area
Substance Education Services (BASES), Inc. in Charlevoix.

"Nationally, more high school seniors have tried marijuana than
cigarettes," reported Kelly, who presented his findings at a special
program, entitled "Drug Use Trends in Charlevoix County," at the
Charlevoix Public Library on Tuesday. He added that marijuana use is
trending upward among younger students, while overall perceptions of
risk are decreasing - due, in part, to newly-enacted medical
marijuana legislation. Michigan is one of 16 states with a medical
marijuana program, which was approved by state voters in 2008.

Kelly also discussed threats emerging from increased abuse of
prescription drugs, as well as synthetic cannabinoids, which are
commonly transacted under names such as K2 and Spice. He cited the
instant availability of online information and resources as a
contributing factor.

"We had a kid come in, saying he could buy some 'stuff' online for
$50, and then 'flip' it for $700," Kelly recalled. "Synthetics create
all kinds of legal, political and health issues."

The program, which drew about 40 people, was intended to help local
adults understand national and local trends related to drug use and
abuse, while also educating them about the effectiveness of
treatment, and about addiction as a brain illness.

Kelly is the executive director and co-founder of BASES. After
suffering from alcohol addiction while in college, he voluntarily
entered an alcoholism treatment program, and has remained sober since
1984. He has a bachelor's degree in social work and a master's degree
in counseling, and is certified as a relapse prevention specialist
and advanced addictions counselor.

BASES is a private, non-profit, licensed provider of substance abuse
treatment services. Founded in 1993, the organization also operates
the Charlevoix Teen Center, providing teens with after-school social
and recreational opportunities as an alternative to substance abuse
and violence. To learn more, visit www.basesteencenter.org or call
(231) 547-1144.
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