Three public hearings concerning drug abuse in Glendale will kick off a campaign by city, school and business leaders to identify the scope of local substance abuse problems and develop programs to curtail them.
The drive, called "Glendale: Drug Free," evolved from discussions among Glendale city officials and representatives of the Glendale Unified School District, Glendale Community College and the Glendale Chamber of Commerce. The local leaders decided to cooperate to curb drug abuse.
"It's not an issue that's owned by City Hall," Glendale City Manager David Ramsay said during a news conference called Tuesday to unveil the program. "It's a communitywide issue."
Ramsay said the city, school and business leaders sought information about how other communities have addressed drug abuse. They settled on a campaign that will involve public hearings, preparation of a "white paper" that will propose ways to curtail drug abuse, and a follow-up meeting to determine how well the programs have worked.
"This model has been used successfully in other parts of the country," Ramsay said. "We have 'Glendalized' it."
The program will target casual users, who are responsible for up to 80% of the nation's consumption of drugs, organizers said.
A 14-member panel of community leaders has been assembled to learn the extent of Glendale's drug problems. Drug and alcohol counselors, medical experts and others will testify, then members of the public will be allowed to speak.
The first hearing will run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Hoeft Center Auditorium, Glendale Federal Bank, 201 W. Lexington Drive. The second is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 25 in the fellowship center at First United Methodist Church of Glendale, 130 N. Kenwood Ave. The third will run from 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 30 in the resource room at Clark Community Center, 4747 New York Ave., La Crescenta.
The testimony will be used to prepare a report on what civic groups, schools, churches and the business community can do to combat drug abuse. The report is expected to unveiled at a drug summit meeting in February, followed by a second meeting one year later to gauge the success of the program.