The Erie County Drug and Alcohol Coalition held its 12th annual conference on June 17.

The coalition, formed by multiple local agencies, focused on drug and alcohol education, prevention and treatment.

Dr. Lonise Bias, the keynote speaker, spoke on hope and after losing her son to a drug-related death in 1986.

“I wanted them to know not to throw in the towel. They’re doing a good job. They’re champions, and to remember their families and remember themselves to take good care of themselves, their family and continue to help others,” said Dr. Lonise Bias, Keynote Speaker.

“But, I just want them to be aware of what’s out there, raise their radar if they hear something or if they see something from their own kids or nephews or nieces or friends, that they can have a conversation about it. They can, you know, talk about it before it spirals out of control,” said Mary Kay Eisert-Wlodarczyk, Advisor at Lake Erie R.O.A.D Crew.

Physically creating a bedroom with warning signs heightens the awareness for parents and adults.

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“Everybody knows the dangers, everybody knows that you can get in trouble and kids are exposed to things. When you see it and say ‘I had no idea. I had no idea that could be used that a standard household item and how kids are inventingly using it,” Eisert-Wlodarczyk said.