By Sandy Gleim, Associate Coordinator
Work has continued at a hectic pace over the past several months as the project team for the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF SIG) has gathered a wealth of valuable data for the county’s drug / alcohol / tobacco epidemiological study. Community members still are invited to become involved in this federally-funded initiative to improve local drug and alcohol prevention efforts.
To remind, the SPF focuses on reducing youth access to alcohol and tobacco; reducing alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use among Indiana youth and adults, along with substance abuse-related crime and problem behavior; and increasing capacity and effectiveness of Indiana's prevention system.
To gather the statistics and data reflecting use and abuse trends in our communities, several local workgroups have formed to determine where and how to collect this essential information. The groups include:
Local Advisory Council oversight group, consisting of the Drug Free Partnership board.
Local Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup headed by Roosevelt University to gather stakeholders from law enforcement, health care, mental health, schools, social service organizations, etc. to collect specific data.
Evaluation – to determine the process moves forward effectively.
Training / Outreach – to inform the community about the process.
Cultural Competency – to consider cultural implications in regards to the issues.
Youth – to actively involve students in the process.
Program Policy – to evaluate existing local prevention and treatment programs.
As we move into the program evaluation phase, we are especially seeking agency representatives in prevention or relapse prevention areas to assist on the program workgroup. Interested persons can contact Joseph Bunch at firstname.lastname@example.org. As we develop a strategic plan to set future directions, we welcome community input. To share data or information, also contact Ameenah Pasha at email@example.com or Chris Swistek at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In support of the SPF SIG project, the Drug Free Partnership is developing a new web site and a newsletter. Please contact Joseph or Ameenah to be added to our print or email lists for the newsletter. The new web site is under construction, with a domain of www.DrugFreeLaPorteCounty.org. But in the meantime we invite you to visit the current web page at www.laportecounty.net/drugfree to find out more about the LCC, our meeting dates and times, and activities.
TOOLS FOR PARENTS:
ALL NEW Alcohol Saliva Test Strips are now available at both Health Department locations and at the JSC for $1 each. They can be a quick means to find out if your teen has been drinking. Key Chain Breathalyzers are only $10 and can be reused countless times with the change of batteries. Stop by the Health Department on Fridays, the Juvenile Service Center at any time, or Wanatah Public School during building hours to pick up these useful tests.
IS THE LAPORTE COUNTY DRUG FREE PARTNERSHIP?
The LaPorte County Drug Free Partnership, formed in 1989,
is one of the 15 counties in the Northwest Region of the Governor’s
Commission for a Drug Free Indiana. All county residents are
directly and indirectly impacted by drug abuse and problem
gambling and are encouraged to become members of the Partnership
to help in solving the resulting social problems.
To bring together representatives, organizations, and agencies
both public and private, who seek to provide optimal resources
for the combating of alcohol and other drug abuse in LaPorte
County. To formulate a countywide comprehensive plan, while
evaluating and restructuring to insure its goals are met.
To fund proposed projects and programs by awarding grants
from the local portion of the Drug Free Community Fund.
Prevention and Education
This committee gathers and shares information regarding skill
building programs, community or professional mobilization,
and social and environmental change programs for both youth
and adults. Members also work with local youth to plan special
events and gatherings with a substance-free focus.
The justice committee is concerned with the legality and consequences
of substance abuse and examines law enforcement and prosecutorial
efforts. The committee tracks court disposition of drug and
alcohol related matters, encourages the development of neighborhood
watch programs, OWI patrolling, and pro-active community policing.
Intervention and Treatment
This committee’s efforts are centered on services for
those citizens who are in recovery from problems associated
with addiction and substance abuse. It represents services
which deal with interventions, referral, and assessment, as
well as aftercare and continuum of treatment. The group is
now focusing on locating affordable residential treatment
in our community.
in July 2000, middle and high school youth from across the
county are brought together under the guidance of a Youth
Advisor. They plan and develop their own initiatives to
address substance use / abuse by their peers within their
own school populations and are backed and financially supported
by the Partnership.
Ribbon is an annual countywide effort to heighten community
awareness and increase education, which takes place each October.
The Partnership encourages business, churches, government,
and all county residents to participate and especially support
our children and youth in increasing awareness and striving
to reduce drug and alcohol abuse in LaPorte County. Small
grants are awarded to fund a variety of activities including
essay and art contests, rallies and other activities designed
for and by our children and teens.
Under state law, funding is obtained through court-imposed
fines from alcohol and drug-related offenders. 75% of these
funds are annually awarded back to community individuals and
organizations involved in designing and implementing projects
and services addressing the actions recommended in the County
Plan. Interested applicants should contact the Partnership
for more information regarding obtaining grant funding.
are at noon on the first Wednesday of each month, alternating between
Marquette Mall Office Building in Michigan City and First United
Methodist Church, 1225 Michigan Avenue, in LaPorte.
Upcoming meetings are April 1 in Michigan City; May 6 in LaPorte; and June 3 in Michigan City.
LaPorte County Drug Free Partnership
P.O. Box 8750 Michigan City, IN, 46360
& Girls Club
Indiana State Excise Police
Indiana State Police
Healthy Communities of LaPorte County
Juvenile Service Center
LaPorte County Schools
LaPorte City Police Dept.
LaPorte Community Schools
LaPorte Community Corrections
LaPorte County Circuit
LaPorte County Metro Operations
LaPorte Sheriff’s Dept.
Hospital Stress Center
Boy Scout Council
Michigan City Police Dept.
Michigan City Schools
Open Door Adolescent Health Center
Pathway Family Center
Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michianal
St. Joseph Catholic School
Stone Women's Shelter
Superior Courts # 1, # 3 and # 4
Support Our Youth
Teen Court LaPorte and Michigan City