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A Step In the Right Direction

5/5/2008 12:10:45 p.m. - Hobbs, NM. As Hobbs studies its drug problem and grapples with possible solutions, seventy-three area counselors, educators, probation officers and representatives from the Department of Health and the Drug Court recently attended an all-day seminar on methamphetamine (meth) in preparation to work with those struggling with a drug problem. The lecture, held Thursday, May 1, 2008, in New Mexico Junior College's Heidel Hall, was co-sponsored by the Guidance Center of Lea County, Zia Consulting and NMJC's Counseling Office.

The seminar dealt with a description of meth, understanding how it works in the body and in the brain, exploring the extent of the problem, recognizing the personal needs and dynamics that lead people to its use and abuse, and learning intervention strategies and successful treatment approaches to work with addicts.

Ernie Holland, from the Guidance Center of Lea County, and Dr. Mike Westbrook from Zia Consulting, agreed that "Part of the solution to the problem will ultimately involve treating those involved in its use. Meth is a serious problem that affects not only the individual abusing the drug but also their friends and family."

The seminar was lead by Saul Selby, former Clinical Director at the Hazelden Foundation, the foundation that pioneered the model of care for drug addiction and alcoholism treatment. Selby has over twenty-two years of experience in clinical practice, is a national speaker, author, and an adjunct professor.

Selby said that meth is more addictive than many other drugs, results in longer highs, can destroy brain cells, may lead to episodes of paranoid and/or aggressive/hostile behavior as well as neglect and loss of interest in friends and family, and is a growing menace in rural America. The good news is that meth addiction can be treated. With the help of skilled and caring counselors, people can put their lives back together.

For more information, please contact Dr. Pat Gorman, Dean of Counseling, at 575.492.2572 or

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