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Local mother named to magazine’s ‘40 Under 40’

POSTED: October 14, 2009 4:00 a.m.

Ask your six year old if she knows what marijuana is, and she’ll probably say no.


Ask the same child if she knows what prescription pills are and her answer’s the opposite, said Adrienne Baker, president of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators and principal agent of the state medical board.


For the past 10 years, Baker, 39, of Dawsonville, has traveled the state advocating to doctors, law enforcement and hospital staffers the dangers of prescription drugs.


“Prescription drugs are easier to get, and they’re falsely thought of as safer,” she said.


Last month, her tireless work was recognized when she was named one of Georgia’s 40 Under 40 by Georgia Trend magazine.


Each year, Georgia Trend’s editorial staff asks the magazine’s readers to help identify those individuals who will lead the state’s business, cultural, academic and governmental institutions in decades to come.


Baker was selected from 165 candidates nominated.


“I literally work all over the state and have been on the national lecture tour for over five years, so I have no idea who nominated me,” Baker said Monday. “But I am so honored. It’s an accomplishment. This is so important to me.”


According to the magazine’s editorial board, there is no specific criteria for selecting the top 40 nominees.


“While there is no set formula, we can boil it down to this: We’re looking for people who are making an impact either on the entire state of Georgia or their own little corner of it,” the board wrote.


Baker, whose daughter is in first grade at Kilough Elementary School, is vice president of the school’s parent-teacher organization and is a leader for her daughter’s Daisy Scout Troop.


“This is my backyard,” said Baker, who for the last five or six years has focused much of her efforts locally by speaking to local groups, including the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office.


“Education is the key. We’ve got to start at home to make both children and their parents realize prescription drugs are a problem,” she said.


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