MCALLEN, Texas – The Prevention Awareness Team of Hidalgo County (PATH) is kicking off a free two-day conference aimed at providing first responders with strategies to combat youth drug abuse.
The conference offers training on topics ranging from the opioid epidemic to social media safety. This is the second year the event is held and PATH officials say registration increased from last year’s conference by 160 individuals including social workers, law enforcement, nurses and educators.
Karen Rodriguez, Regional evaluator for Prevention Resource Center 11, says the Valley’s proximity to Mexico contributes to its substance abuse issues. “We see a lot of prescription drug misuse. We also see other substances, such as alcohol and marijuana to be a problem here in the Valley. And it is because of that easy access we have here in the community, especially our youth.”
Local entities also present to inform visitors of its resources and programs.