PEKIN, Ill. -- Tazewell County is trying keep officials informed on the dangers of substance abuse following recent drug related deaths in Peoria earlier this month.
The Tazewell Teen Initiative hosted an Impact on Substance Abuse session earlier this afternoon with guest speaker and former federal and state prosecutor, Monte Stiles.
County officials said they are hoping to decrease crime and school drop-out rates by preventing early substance abuse in the county's youth.
"It's a time that we know teens may be starting to "use" with proms, graduation, and summer coming up," said Tazewell County Health Department Communications Manager, Sara Sparkman. It's a time that we want to get parents in the community involved to increase the awareness between them and their children."
Meanwhile, Stiles said new bills like medical marijuana are setting a double standard for communities.
"Because of these drug legalization campaigns, our children are being taught simultaneously that cigarettes kill them and marijuana heals them," said Stiles. "It's a tragedy. We are creating a society and a culture were increased use is happening because people are given the wrong messages."
Another community forum will be open to the public Tuesday night from 7:00 - 8:30 at Pekin Community High School Auditorium.