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10/8/2009 6:00:00 AM
Two thousand Walk Away from Drugs in Kingman
More than 2,000 participants gather in Centennial Park after participating in the 3rd Annual Walk Away From Drugs Tuesday. This year's theme for the walk was Arizona Youth Partnership's

More than 2,000 participants gather in Centennial Park after participating in the 3rd Annual Walk Away From Drugs Tuesday. This year's theme for the walk was Arizona Youth Partnership's "Dump the Drugs" program, where families could dispose of any leftover expired prescriptions or over-the-counter medications that might be lying around their homes. After completing the trek that began from three separate locations, the participants were treated to entertainment and also hot dogs grilled up by Kiwanis International and the Kingman Elks Lodge. The Kiwanis and Elks served more than 1,800 hot dogs to the participants, and all of the leftover food was given to Cornerstone Mission, a homeless family resource center in Kingman.
JC AMBERLYN / Miner staff photographer
JC AMBERLYN / Miner staff photographer

James Chilton
Miner Staff Reporter

Click here to see related video

KINGMAN - The 3rd annual Walk Away from Drugs may have been the biggest yet, with more than 2,000 area citizens converging on Centennial Park to take a stand against drug abuse and its effects on the community.

"It shows that our community is really in support of eliminating drugs from our area," said Kingman Mayor John Salem, who was joined at the event by City Manager Jack Kramer, Vice Mayor Janet Watson and most of the Kingman City Council. "I'm really pleased to see so many people come out for this."

"It's a very good sized crowd," added Kingman's police chief, Robert DeVries. "It's just fantastic. I think it sends a really strong message to where the community is going."

That message certainly struck a chord with Gerald Richards, a special policy advisor to Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard. Addressing the audience, Richards praised Mohave County for doing more than any other in the state to address drug abuse prevention and spread community awareness through events such as the Walk Away From Drugs. "Right now, there is no county above you," Richards said. "Mohave County is second to none."

Department of Public Safety Director Roger Vanderpool also praised the large turnout, especially for the number of families in attendance. He also had strong praise for the anti-drug efforts of the KPD and the Mohave County Sheriff's Office. "We are delighted to be partnered with some of the finest law enforcement in the state of Arizona," Vanderpool said. "This is a great turnout, because home is where the prevention starts."

Douglas Hebert of the Drug Enforcement Agency presented some eye-opening statistics on the rising trend of prescription drug abuse. In 2006 alone, he said, more Americans died from prescription drug overdoses than the tallies for meth, cocaine and heroin combined.

This fact was not lost on Pamela Savoy, who was one of many to make use of the Arizona Youth Partnership's new "Dump the Drugs" program, which allowed attendees to dispose of their unwanted or expired prescription drugs. Savoy said she only remembered the program on her way to the event, and actually turned her car around to go back home and get her prescription, feeling it was that important.

Tagging alongside her was Savoy's 4-year-old son, Jiries. "He's really intrigued by it all," she said.

Manning the "Dump the Drugs" table was AYP Community Development Coordinator Pam Kowalski. She said seeing youngsters like Jiries at the event was an encouraging sign, since the underlying message is more likely to stick if it's introduced at an early age.

"This is great because the more activities we do with the kids, the more they're going to be against (drug abuse)," Kowalski said.

KRMC (career choice)-46961
Related Stories:
• VIDEO: Walk Away from Drugs 2009

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Article comment by: Daryl

((((((((((METH KILLS THE SOUL)))))))))Then there is nothing left.

Posted: Sunday, October 11, 2009
Article comment by: I believe,I accept J.C.

take it from a meth addict,new to recovery!!!I have 5 small children,and the meth scene HERE IN KINGMAN, is a billion times worse than thaught to be. 20+ years of meth use can open a persons eyes to the severity of kingmans meth world.

I am terrefied for the future of the kids of kingman!!!!!!

Posted: Sunday, October 11, 2009
Article comment by: No name provided

Kingman High School has descended into a meth haven due to the lack of things to do for the young in Kingman. People do ice all day long there even, and it's spread more every year.

The teenagers are bored and have no outlet aside from getting twacked out and partying for days.

Posted: Saturday, October 10, 2009
Article comment by: No name provided

After the event was over, they all rushed home and downed there arthritis pills with a cold beer!

Posted: Thursday, October 8, 2009
Article comment by: Ilah

Great job !!!

Seeing positive community envolvement coverage in our local media is refreshing.

Posted: Thursday, October 8, 2009
Article comment by: RayK

Good news!!

I am gonna have to break out my pocketbook and contribute to this cause. Who has that info on the Alanon house needing rent money. Hey Mark****** Do more articles on those folks or I will spend even more time here railing against the machine.

Posted: Thursday, October 8, 2009
Article comment by: Jon Longoria

I too think this was an success. I commend the Miner for reporting on this.

Posted: Thursday, October 8, 2009
Article comment by: Proud Supporter

How wonderful to see the community come together for such a great event. Way to go Kingman Meth Coalition and all of the volunteers and organizations that came out to support your community. You are making great strides to make this community a better place for our children.

Posted: Thursday, October 8, 2009
Article comment by: Retired

How refreshing! Way to go!

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