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Senate forum to talk about drug problem in suburbs

LAWRENCEVILLE — It isn’t just a problem in the big city. Drugs are a big problem in the suburbs, Sen. Renee Unterman says.

The Buford senator plans to bring the Georgia Senate Health and Human Services Committee to Gwinnett on Monday to talk about the problems, which recently left a son of a friend dead.

“Everything thinks it’s downtown Atlanta, but that’s not true,” Unterman said, adding that the legislature has struggled to keep up with the problem because drug cartels change the chemical compound of synthetic drugs as soon as a law passes banning it. “Every year we have to change the law.”

When the General Assembly opens its session next month, Unterman said she also expects some tweaks to come to a new law that regulates pain clinics, which are often regarded as the source of prescription drug addicts.

Unterman has invited college students to attend and is encouraging parents to come out to find out about the dangers and issues with drugs in the community.

The community drug forum is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. Monday at Gwinnett Technical College’s Busbee Center in Lawrenceville.

Those scheduled to testify include Lance Dyer, whose son Dakota died after using synthetic marijuana last year, a Georgia Buruea of Investigation agent involved in the issue and officials from Georgia treatment clinics.