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Posted: April 23, 2024

Substance Prevention Resource and Empowerment Expo Set for May 6

Event will feature free food, live music, and life-saving information.

Substance Prevention Resource and Empowerment Expo

Substance Prevention Resource and Empowerment Expo

In response to growing concerns about substance use and its impact on the community, Albuquerque Public Schools is working with community partners on an inaugural Substance Prevention Resource and Empowerment Expo, or SPREE.

APS has joined forces with Bernalillo County, the City of Albuquerque, the New Mexico Department of Health, and the Drug Enforcement Administration to organize the Expo, which will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on May 6 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, 1701 Fourth Street SW.

For free tickets to the event, please go to the SPREE webpage and register.

Designed as a community-wide initiative, the Expo aims to engage parents, students, and community members in addressing substance use and misuse. Since substance-related issues cut across all demographics, the Expo will offer a range of resources and information for everyone.

"For caregivers concerned about their children's wellbeing, attending SPREE can provide invaluable insights and resources," said Kylee Shurter, Director of Prevention and Intervention Counseling and the Crossroads program at APS. "From educational workshops and keynote speakers to access to intervention/treatment options and networking opportunities, SPREE equips attendees with the knowledge and tools needed to navigate the complexities of substance prevention."

The Expo will feature a host of services and activities, including free food from local food trucks, live entertainment by a DJ, a student panel, and engaging experiences such as the Hidden in Plain Sight Mobile Education exhibit and an Impaired Driving Cart Obstacle Course courtesy of the New Mexico National Guard.

Keynote speakers will be former Lobo and NBA player Kenny Thomas and Nico Morales of No Halo NM. There will be Narcan training and free distribution and workshops led by APS Crossroads Counselors on current drug trends, social media safety, and how to talk to your child about substances.

Attendees can also expect indoor and outdoor resource tables offering information on substance prevention and intervention, behavioral health, and healthy alternatives to substance use. 

The Expo – sponsored by Bernalillo County and the City of Albuquerque in collaboration with APS/Crossroads, NMDOH, and the DEA – underscores a shared commitment to addressing substance-related challenges at the community level. Through the Expo, these partners aim to raise awareness, provide education, and empower individuals and families to make informed decisions regarding substance use and prevention.

For decades, APS has been at the forefront of helping students struggling with substance use issues. The district’s Crossroads program, Master’s level school counselors with specialized training in substance prevention and intervention, was established in the 1990s and expanded under Dr. Kristine Meurer's leadership. Crossroads Counselors provide counseling, intervention services, and prevention education across the district’s 13 traditional high schools.

It is a groundbreaking counseling program offered by no other school district in the United States and has received national recognition for the creation and implementation of its innovative Post Overdose Response Team (PORT) and individualized plan (PORT-P) which is pioneering ensuring the supportive school return after a medical event in which a known or suspected drug overdose has occurred on campus.