Burnet’s Join the Journey takes another step in fight against drug abuse

DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR

BURNET — When Janet Christiansen and several Burnet leaders stood before students and community members in May pledging to keep the fight against drug abuse and the impacts of its use at the forefront, it wasn’t just talk.

After unveiling Join the Journey, organizers are holding another community program 6:30-8:30 p.m. Oct. 30 in the auditorium at Burnet High School, 1000 The Green Mile.

“We’re really trying to keep the spotlight on the problem of drugs in Burnet,” Christiansen said. “It really does effect all of us, not just the one using the drug.”

Christiansen understands the horrors drug abuse inflicts beyond the user. On Dec. 14, 2011, her 21-year-old son, Caleb Christiansen, died after using drugs. In April of this year, the man who sold Caleb the drug pleaded guilty to delivery of a controlled substance.[box]IF YOU GO
WHAT: Join the Journey program
WHEN: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Oct. 30
WHERE: Auditorium at Burnet High School, 1000 The Green Mile in Burnet
FOR MORE: www.btxjourney.net[/box]

Christiansen decided to use what she learned from her son’s struggles to help other families and the community. One of the things she stresses is how illegal drug use weaves its way through the entire community, even impacting those who feel insulated from it.

“When there’s drug use, there is increased criminal activity,” Christiansen said. “Businesses are affected because people working for them may have problems with drugs or they may be (burglarized), all because of drugs. Even people who don’t have children are affected by this problem. Everybody is.”

The purpose of the Oct. 30 meeting is to continue to make people aware of the problem, how they can make a difference and where they can turn if they suspect somebody they know is struggling with drug addiction.

“One thing we want to do is offer help,” Christiansen said. “Parents need direction. What do you do if you suspect your child is using drugs? What do you do if you have a friend dealing with them? People don’t always know where to turn. We want to be that place they can turn for those answers.”

The event is open to parents, community members and students, especially middle school through high school.

“We’ll have several licensed chemical dependency counselors on hand,” Christiansen said. “People can ask them questions, but they’ll also be available afterward if somebody wants to ask them something privately.”

Go to www.btxjourney.net for more information.

daniel@thepicayune.com