By Joe Beck
Shenandoah County Commonwealth's Attorney Amanda Wiseley and several local law enforcement agencies are planning three town hall meetings at county schools to address the dangers of heroin.
Guest speakers for the meetings will include members of the Northwestern Virginia Regional Drug Task Force, drug counselors, medical professionals and former addicts or family members of an addict.
Other participating agencies will include representatives of the police departments from Strasburg, New Market, Edinburg, Woodstock, Mount Jackson and the Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office.
Wiseley said the meetings are open to the public and will include a question and answer period.
The goal of the meetings is to give people detailed information that may be helpful in detecting signs of heroin use among friends, family members and neighbors.
"One of the things I have noticed is when I go out and speak to various community groups and explain about heroin and why it's so dangerous, we would tell people to be on the lookout but we never told them what to look for," Wiseley said.
Wiseley called heroin "a huge problem" in the county.
"We're more fortunate than Frederick County in that we haven't had a number of deaths, but the majority of our drug cases are heroin-related cases, Wiseley said. "It's just our luck we haven't had more deaths."
Each of the meetings is scheduled for 6 p.m. The dates and places are April 14 at the Strasburg High School cafeteria; April 15 at the Central High School's old gym in Woodstock; and April 16 at the Stonewall Jackson High School library in Quicksburg.
em>Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org