Kaitlynn Dillon

Kaitlynn Dillon, Miss Indian Fort Thomas, opened the 13th annual Graham County Substance Abuse Awareness Conference in 2018 with a blessing. This year’s symposium will take place Sept. 18 at Eastern Arizona College.

THATCHER — An annual substance abuse symposium will focus on new topics for area youths this year, including all-terrain vehicle accidents, internet safety and trauma.

The Graham County Substance Abuse Coalition puts on the symposium annually, inviting authorities in various fields to discuss a plethora of topics concerning the state of substance abuse in Graham County and the state. This year, the event’s 14th, will include topics focusing on various types of safety as well.

Located at the Eastern Arizona College Activity Center, the Southeastern Arizona Substance Awareness Symposium will be Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 8 a.m to 4 p.m. Tickets for the event are available through eventbrite at gcsac.com.

“Come and gather information. We all need to be up on the latest because these trends change so frequently,” said Kathy Grimes, Graham County Substance Abuse Coalition executive director. “This year, we will be discussing the hot topics including safety of ATVs and UTVs, as well as internet safety regarding human trafficking. And we know that vaping is getting to be at epidemic levels.”

This year, the youths will also be given a time to focus on media creations dealing with vaping. The youth coalition will be able to publish newspaper, internet and radio advertising regarding vaping thanks to the coalition’s reception of a grant targeting vaping awareness.

The event holds seminars for adults as well as youths. The adult seminars will include multiple presentations on marijuana and the anticipated 2020 legalizing recreational marijuana initiative.

Drug dependence will also be highlighted by Jason Hutchnings, of Awakenings Recovery.

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