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Fair offers drug abuse help and information

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ALBERT LEA, Minn. (KTTC) -- Drug and alcohol abuse can lead to addiction, serious illness and even death. An organization in Albert Lea is stepping up to increase awareness of these dangers by offering resources in an accessible place for users. 

A growing problem? Or fending off a potential one?

It is seen both ways as the Fountain Centers and the Freeborn County Partners in Prevention put on the Alcohol and Drug Prevention and Recovery Resource Fair.

"In Freeborn County, the three most used are alcohol, tobacco and marijuana," said Alice Englin with the Freeborn County Partners in Prevention. "Prescription drugs are really becoming an issue, also, but it's across the state."

It is a chance for people of all ages to gain the upper hand against what many consider one of the biggest problems facing youth.

The fair offers materials on how to recognize drug and alcohol abuse, ways to recover from addiction, and the frequently-used beer goggle demonstration, where someone puts on the goggles at different intoxication levels and tries to walk in a straight line.

"In this venue, they can come around and get an ice cream treat, do the beer goggles, just pick up some information along with other information," said Englin. "Then, if they want to make a phone call, that's what we want them to do. Any way we can get people the help they need, that's one of our goals."

A fair puts the problem out in a very public setting, something Englin feels should be seen as a benefit.

"The nice thing about here is that we have information, we have pamphlets that they can take home if they wanted to," said Englin. "They can ask someone to come aside and then Fountain Centers is just right here in this building so if they wanted to go and talk with someone there they could and that would be more private."

As September is National Recovery Month, organizations across the country are doing what they can to help their communities fend off drug and alcohol abuse.

This is the second year for the fair.

Attendance at the first event was reported at more than 150 people, so the goal of spreading the proper information is starting off on the right foot.

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