MOUNT GILEAD — The calendar has changed, but the addiction problem remains in north central Ohio.
A group of volunteers continued to plan programs and talked about what lies ahead during the first meeting of 2018 for the Drug & Alcohol Awareness Prevention of Morrow County coalition last Thursday.
“We have received grant money, which will help us do more presentations to the community,” DAAP Chairman Ben McDay said.
Part of that funding will go toward buying laptops, projectors and a copier.
McDay said the local group has done great work, with no paid staff and limited funds.
“This year we’d like to add a staff member. It’s amazing what we’ve done so far … when I look at this coalition and others around the state spending more money,” McDay said.
A new project, Opiate Hub, will be unveiled soon.
Two existing one have made strides in creating awareness throughout Morrow County. Those are Parents Who Host Lose The Most and Hidden in Plain Sight.
Parents Who Host is a campaign against underage drinking whose primary aim is to educate parents.
Lieutenant Gurjit S. Grewal, Mount Gilead Post Commander, Ohio State Highway Patrol, is working to get schools and parents involved.
“One of my troopers who is our school liaison, will be part of it once it gets moving,” Grewal said. “We want to get this message to parents.”
This program, McDay said, “is well known throughout the state.”
Work continues in the youth sector led by Jack Kegley.
“We are wanting to get the youth involved creatively,” McDay said. He credits county school leaders for their interest.
“The superintendents gathered together and stepped up. Each district wants to be involved. This is opening the doors up for the schools to be involved. It will take some time to build it from the ground up.”
Steve Denovchek continues efforts with the the Hidden in Plain Sight presentations.
“Teaching parents about their what to look for in their children’s bedrooms, backpacks and cars. Some have told us, ‘If only we knew then what we know now, it could have prevented the problem.’”
Resource packets are available for parents.
“Drugs, like marijuana, with fentanyl in it, has increased. The game has changed,” Denovchek said.
For information on DAAP call 419-946-2009, extension 661.