University of Minnesota Duluth block M and wordmark

Civic Engagement takes on Methamphetamine


Karen Bastianelli and Casey LaCore

Karen Bastianelli,assistant professor in UMD's Pharmacy Program, and Karen (Casey) Lacore, community program specialist, are working with a group of community volunteers on Duluth's Methamphetamine Task Force to help find ways to overcome a drug epidemic which has taken a hard hit at northern Minnesota. These UMD leaders add their expertise to the county-wide task force made up of county officials, advertising professionals, emergency personel, and the medical community. Bastianelli's pharmaceutical knowlege and Lacore's ability to connect the university with the larger community are critical for the task force

Lacore, who is the UMD Director of Civic Engagement, gives students, staff and faculty unique opportunities by partnering with groups in the community. In addition to the Duluth Methamphetamine Task Force, faculty incorporate methamphetamine prevention information into learning areas such as pharmacy, social work, health, law enforcement and others.

The task force's mission is to educate people on the topic of methamphetamines and the dangers of the drug.


An upcoming event, "Facing Meth," features David Parnell, a meth survivor who will speak about his experiences. It is set for Tuesday, March 27 in the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center Auditorium. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. with information available from area agencies. The moving first-hand account of recovered meth user and suicide survivor David Parnell will begin at 6:30 p.m. His message has been called a “powerful story of hope.” No registration is required and parking is free. Due to the graphic nature of the program, it is not recommended for children under 10 years old. Individuals are asked to invite friends and neighbors.

LaCore said, "Meth touches everyone. Methamphetamine is more than just an illegal, highly addictive drug. It’s a national epidemic that needs a local response." The task force is concerned that meth is destroying lives, driving up the rate of violent crime, increasing healthcare costs, increasing property taxes, and posing immediate environmental hazards.

Parnell and representatives of area agencies will be available after the presentation to answer individual questions. Bastianelli siad "More information regarding the event is available by calling 218-726-4770. As a Task Force we worked with the United Way to set up a simple number for people to call if they need help with a meth issue. Now people can call United Way 2-1-1, a 24-hour Information and Referral Service."


Download a poster for the event

See a poster of the event

The event is sponsored by Lake Superior Advertising Federation, St. Louis County, St. Luke’s Foundation, University of Minnesota Duluth Office of Civic Engagement, University of Minnesota Duluth College of Pharmacy, St. Mary’s Duluth Clinic, Council for Health Interprofessional Programs-Duluth (CHIP-D), and others.
Additional support has been provided by the United Way of Greater Duluth, Parthe Productions, Jeff Frey & Associates, Duluth Transit Authority, ProPrint, Elite Tinting and Graphics, Duluth Firefighters, Comfort Suites, Northland News Center, Stewart Taylor Printing, BN Advertising, Jack Rendulich Photography, HT Klatzky & Associates, Steve Horner Music, Grandma's Marathon, Let the Whole World Know Banners, Todd Signs, National Audio Visual, and others.
Lake Superior Drug and Gang Task Force, The St. Louis County Drug Endangered Child Program, The United Way, members from the Lake Superior Advertising Federation, and other local agencies serve on the community task force.

— written by Cheryl Reitan with assistance from Communication Intern Jenna Hagen

UMD Homepage 2007

UMD home page editor, Cheryl Reitan,
NEW RELEASES, UMD media contact, Susan Latto,, 218-726-8830


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