Ex-Addicts to Lead Anti-Drug Forum

Rappers, musicians, former professional athletes and recovering drug addicts will gather next week for a forum to deliver a message against drug use to teen-agers and their parents.

Rap artist Fros-t and the band Positive Alternatives, made up of recovering addicts, will provide entertainment at the Teens Against Drugs forum from 2:30 to 5 p.m. on April 7 at the East Los Angeles Neighborhood Service Center, 133 N. Sunol Drive.

Also scheduled to appear are former Minnesota Twins player Darryl Jackson and former lightweight boxing champion Mando Ramos, whose career was cut short when he became addicted to alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and heroin. He now runs Boxers Against Alcohol & Drugs, a teen program in San Pedro.

The day will include a demonstration by U.S. Customs Service dogs trained to sniff out drugs in packages, and information from several community organizations that offer help for troubled families.

The forum was planned as a result of surveys of 200 community organizations that identified drug abuse as the foremost problem in the county, said organizer Fernando Bravo, a senior health educator at the Edward R. Roybal Comprehensive Health Center.

"The key thing is, we thought the parents and the youth have a lot of myths about drug use, so hearing it from the experts, the recovering drug addicts, we hope they get the facts in such a way that they believe it," Bravo said.

Organizers expect an audience of 200 to 250. The event was planned by members of the East/Northeast Networking Roundtable Health Committee. The committee is also holding a photography contest in which youths ages 10 to 17 are asked to submit original 8-by-10, black-and-white photos of youths involved in positive activities. Deadline for entries is 5 p.m. Wednesday. Prizes will be awarded at the Teens Against Drugs forum.

Submit entries, with an application form signed by a parent or legal guardian, to Ernie Avila, Casa de Hermandad, 133 N. Sunol Drive, Los Angeles 90063.

Information: (213) 780-2204.

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