LEHIGHTON In an effort to raise awareness about the increasing use of drugs and alcohol among the youth across Carbon County and Pennsylvania, Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) will host a free Carbon County Drug and Alcohol Awareness Expo on Thursday, April 18, from 6-8:30 p.m., at the Lehighton Area High School.

"This expo is designed for parents, grandparents and community leaders to come together with regional and state leaders for an informational event regarding substance abuse awareness and prevention," said Heffley. "We have a great line-up of individuals and organizations that are participating, and we look forward to a very educational event for all residents of the community. I am glad that Senators David Argall and John Yudichak are also supportive of this event and realize how important it is to all of the residents we represent."

Organizations participating in this expo, include: St Luke's Miner Memorial Hospital, Blue Mountain Health Systems, Fire Tree Conewago, White Deer Run, Valley Forge Medical Center, Clear Brook Lodge, Carbon County Sheriff's Office, Jim Thorpe Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, Victims' Resource Center, Carbon-Monroe-Pike Drug and Alcohol Services, Penn State Extension and Pyramid Health Care Inc.

Similarly, Dennis Bonvie, former American Hockey League icon and National Hockey League player, will be at the event and challenge youth to make a pledge to be drug and alcohol free. Drug free mascots, Ryland and Willoughby, will also make an appearance at the event.

Because leftover and unused pharmaceuticals are a hazard for abuse and misuse, particularly by young people, the Summit Hill Police Department will host a prescription drug drop off at the expo. Local residents can drop off their unused prescriptions, with no questions asked.

For more information regarding this event, visit Heffley's website at www.RepHeffley.com or visit his legislative Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/RepHeffley.