For Immediate Release - September 21, 2007

D.A. Blodgett To Host Annual Drug Forum For Community Leaders

Will Introduce New "Choose 2 Refuse Program"

Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett will host his annual "Policymakers Drug Forum" on Wednesday, September 26, from 8 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. at the Sheraton Ferncroft Hotel in Danvers. Among those in attendance will be state senators and representatives, police chiefs, school superintendents and principals, mayors and town managers.

District Attorney Blodgett will introduce his new "Choose 2 Refuse Program," a heroin and OxyContin prevention program, and a brochure intended to help youth recognize and cope with risky situations, and make good decisions in their lives.

"Choose 2 Refuse" is designed to be used either as an introduction to new students, or as a "booster" for students who have already participated in the longer, six-session "Choose To Refuse" program. It includes clips from videotaped interviews with teens who are recovering from heroin and OxyContin addiction.

The keynote speaker at the breakfast will be Dr. Bertha Madras, Deputy Director for Demand Reduction from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Prior to her appointment Dr Madras was a professor of Psychobiology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She has traveled the United States and abroad presenting prevention lectures on how drugs affect the brain, and has conducted research on cocaine, Ecstasy and cannabinoids.

In addition, Secretary of Public Safety Kevin M. Burke will address the gathering, as will Jay Fallon, the new Director of New England HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.)

The media are welcome to attend.