Two-hundred enforcement officers, educators, mental health professionals and others descended on the Casper Ramkota this week to discuss and find ways to combat methamphetamine and substance abuse.

In its 16th year, the Wyoming Methamphetamine and Substance Abuse Conference aims to educate people from a variety of careers on combating the methamphetamine problem plaguing Wyoming and the Casper area.

"We try to find people from a broad spectrum of professions," conference co-chair Jean Davies said.

Davies said the conference began after five meth-related homicides occurred in the Casper area over a short period of time.

Today, the conference addresses other illicit substances such as marijuana.

This year, attendees discussed a new drug impacting the area: suboxone.

Suboxone is used to treat opiod addiction. However, it is not without its own addictive properties.

"What we're finding on the street is that it's becoming a problem here," Davies said. "[Users] are just trading one drug for another."

And those problems are why it's important for community leaders to come together and work to find solutions as new drugs find their way onto the street. It's not easy, but the annual conference is a good start.

Officials are already preparing for next year's event.

"We're excited to start planning for the 17th conference," Davies said. "People are finding new drugs that make you ask, 'Why would you put that in your body?'"