Carbon County officials want to shine light on a few big problems in the county.

On Friday, April 25, the fifth annual Legislative Breakfast, sponsored by the Interagency Council of Carbon County and the Child and Family Collaborative Board, will discuss the drug and alcohol problem in the communities and state. The event is a bipartisan gathering aimed at helping the county agencies better serve the people.

The breakfast, which is open to all agencies within Carbon County; as well as the public, will be held at the Whispering Pines, Penn Forest Volunteer Fire Company 1, 1387 Route 903, Jim Thorpe. Doors open at 9 a.m., brunch begins at 9:30, and the panel discussion program will start at 10.

The main speaker of the event will be Brinda Penyak, deputy director of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania. She will talk about three priorities CCAP is currently working on. They include human services funding and further system reform; inmates with mental health and substance abuse issues; and prevention of substance abuse and drug overdose.

Jeanne Miller, co-chair of the Carbon County Child and Family Collaborative Board, said it doesn't make a difference which party you are when it comes to drugs and alcohol.

She credited the county and state agencies in recent years for working together to try and solve this growing epidemic by hosting educational programs to teach people about the effects of drugs.

"This is something that affects the whole county," Carbon County Commissioner Wayne Nothstein added. "Because of the increase in drug usage, we are seeing a rather large increase in cases involving the court system and it's overcrowding our prison."

The brunch committee strongly encourages county and state agencies to attend the event. The cost for the brunch is $15, which will benefit an annual grant given by the Interagency Council of Carbon County at the brunch to one agency that works to benefit the community.

Mindy Graver, a committee member, said that a number of agencies have yet to respond and reminds everyone to call her if they would like to attend. The deadline to register to attend is April 16.

To register for the brunch, make checks payable to Interagency Council of Carbon County and send it to Graver at IACC c/o Mindy Graver, Penn State Extension Office, 529 Lentz Trail, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229-0060 or to make arrangements to drop it off, call her at 570-325-2788 or email mjg26@psu.edu.

Sponsorship is also needed for the event. Sponsors could be for $25, $50, $75 or $100. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Graver as soon as possible.