Special drug agent speaks to coalition

Published 5:58 am Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services recently heard a presentation from George Cazenavette III, a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent from New Orleans.

Cazenavette spoke to attendees on the issue of substance abuse as one of the nation’s most pressing public health concerns. The meeting was held on Tuesday, April 26, at Elizabeth Sullivan Memorial United Methodist Church.

“We have a lot of drugs in Bogalusa,” he said.

Cazenavette said that five people were recently arrested, convicted and sentenced for selling two to 10 kilograms of cocaine per month. He said the cocaine came from Texas and Mississippi and originated in Mexico. In reference to opioids, he said Louisiana is the most “prescribed” state in the United States. Seventy-five percent or more prescriptions come from prescriptions written as a result of injuries in car accidents.

Cazenavette noted that often people self-medicate with pain killers and graduate to heroin. He suggested that youth and adults watch the story on opioid addiction by watching the movie “Chasing the Dragon” on Youtube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqdmWRExOkQ).

Charlette Fornea, executive director of ADAPT, reported on the Drug Free Communities grant, which will give two members of the Washington Parish Youth Coalition an opportunity to go to Atlanta, Ga., for the 16th Annual Mid-Year Training Institute. The opening plenary keynote speaker will be Chuck Rosenberg, Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The coalition meeting continued a celebration of the coalition’s 15th anniversary with representatives from hospitals, law enforcement, mayors, city council and state representatives, non-profits, area businesses, schools and faith based organizations.

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 23, at 9:30 a.m. at Elizabeth Sullivan Memorial United Methodist Church in Bogalusa, with a preliminary committee meeting at 8:30 a.m. Light refreshments will be served.

The coalition involves people who represent flood recovery, business, civic groups, health care professionals, law enforcement, media, parents, faith organizations, schools, state government agencies, substance abuse organizations, youth and youth-serving organizations. The coalition is open to all.

To find out more about the Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services, visit online at wpchs.weebly.com or like the coalition on Facebook at WPCHS. Find and follow the coalition on Twitter at twitter.com/WPCoalitionHS, or on Instagram at www.instagram.com/adaptincorporated.