MOUNT GILEAD — Drug and Alcohol Awareness and Prevention Chairman Ben McDay is encouraged by the group’s work.
But McDay and other members of the coalition recognize it’s just the start.
“Our first year was coalition building, getting the right people in the the right positions. Now our work is just beginning,” he said at the DAAP of Morrow County meeting Thursday.
“Everyone is doing a lot of good stuff. But this disease is still out there killing people every day in Ohio,” McDay said.
Coalition members learned that two overdose deaths had occurred recently in the county.
The three areas of intervention, prevention and treatment remain intact.
Trying to get the youth sector more involved is part of that strategy, according to McDay.
“We need to be talking with them about preventive measures and we need to teach them teen leadership. That is so important,” he said. “The motivation is toward prevention with students.”
McDay said allowing students in the four county school districts to have a voice in the programs is also essential.
Reaching parents is also critical. The Hidden in Plain Sight program continues to be shared with Morrow County parents and school teachers.
One is planned at Highland Middle School library on Thursday, Sept. 28 from 6-7 p.m.
The program brings awareness to parents/guardians in an interactive exhibit of a teenager’s bedroom, that helps identify signs of risky behaviors. The goal is to inform adults about how to have a conversation, not a confrontation, with teens regarding substance abuse, as well as provide local resources for assistance.
Delaware-Morrow Mental Health and Recovery Services Board Executive Director Deanna Brant updated the group on various grant applications.
“I’m here to help find out what you need and a way for you to pay for it,” Brant said.
The next meeting is noon to 1 p.m. Oct. 19 at First Presbyterian Church, 55 N. Cherry St., Mount Gilead.