The numbers are unsettling.
Up to 39 percent of all felony prosecutions in Kern County include methamphetamine offenses and over 50 percent of substance abuse treatment admissions in the county are for methamphetamine-related disorders.
This according to the most recent survey conducted over an 18-month period in 2008 by Transforming Local Communities, Inc. under the auspices of the Kern County Mental Health Department.
The study also showed that of the randomly selected substance abuse clients interviewed, seven of eight had begun using meth as teenagers, and four had used methamphetamine for the first time when they were under 15 years of age
Alarming results that have prompted the Kern County Methamphetamine Reduction Task Force to join forces with Kern County Mental Health and California State University, Bakersfield to fight meth use in Kern County with an adult-to-youth mentoring conference.
"Hope Through Mentoring-Change Starts with Me" will be a day-long conference featuring two phenomenal keynote speakers -- Nan Henderson of "Resiliency in Action" and Derek Clark of "I Will Never Give Up."
The conference, however, is not only designed for experienced mentors, but for those who are interested in mentoring, as well as those who have been unable to find a local organization to connect them to mentoring opportunities.
The event will be held on Saturday, April 6, on the campus of California State University Bakersfield from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will feature eight workshops devoted to a variety of mentoring topics.
Local mentoring agencies will present awards to three people who have proven to be exceptional mentors and continuing education credit is available for social workers, mental health providers, nurses and others.
The cost of the conference is $20, and includes a continental breakfast and lunch, catered by Mossman's.
For more information contact Dixie King of Transforming Local Communities at 661-827-5245 or visit KernStopMethNow.com.