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Prevention

Strategic Goal: To prevent individual’s initial drug use and the deterioration to addiction in those who have already begun drug use.  

Objectives

1.      Expand community prevention/intervention efforts

2.      Reduce underage drinking and drug use

3.      Reduce the number of babies born into an environment of addiction

4.      Reduce the spread of blood borne pathogens through harm reduction programs

 

Introduction: 

Preventing drug and alcohol abuse and addiction increases people’s chances of living long, healthy and productive lives. Drug abuse includes any inappropriate use of prescription drugs as well as over the-counter drugs and any use of illicit drugs. Drug use can impede judgment and lead to harmful, risky behavior. Preventing drug and alcohol abuse improves quality of life, academic performance and workplace productivity. Prevention also reduces crime and criminal justice expenses, reduces motor vehicle crashes and lowers health care costs for acute and chronic conditions. Strengthening our partnership with DEA and HIDTA will enhance prevention efforts. 

Priorities:

1.      Create Detox and Treatment Centers

2.      Expand community prevention/intervention efforts

3.      Resources for parents to guide them in drug discussions with kids  

 

Preventing drug use before it begins is the most cost-effective, common-sense approach to promoting a safe, healthy and vibrant community.  By preventing substance use, abuse, and dependence before it ever begins, we can save lives and cut costs related to healthcare, criminal justice and other public services. Prevention efforts should focus on not only stopping drug use, but also stopping current drug users from causing irreparable harm to themselves or others. 

Resources for Parents

Young people with stable parent and family structures are not immune from drug use and abuse.  Providing tools and resources to the parent or guardian to help prevent drug use is of the utmost importance in our area. Peer pressure can lead even the most stable child to make bad decisions. Currently, the Berkeley County Recovery Resource Center is working in conjunction with the  High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) on a pilot program that will make available drug-testing kits called Give Me a Reason.  These test kits are not meant to be used as a scare tactic against young people, but as a way to open a conversation between parent and child about the dangers of drug use. These test kits also give young people a way out of peer pressure situations.  The possibility of being drug tested allows the young person the ability to say they cannot experiment with drugs.

Besides the drug kit, education material is provided to the parent on ways to protect their children, tips on how to communicate with their kids, monitor their activities, how to spot drug/alcohol use or abuse and what a parent should do when they find it. Today, parents can find it difficult to talk to their kids about experimenting with drugs, especially if they experimented when they were younger. The education provided includes tools to help open conversations between parent and child. We believe the education materials are just as vital, if not more important, than the drug-testing kits.

A priority for this center is finding more ideas and programs to expand the tools and resources that parents have at their disposal.  The Berkeley/Morgan County Health Department opened its first Harm Reduction Program in on  April, 12 2017. The well-planned program will be all-encompassing and will include a syringe  exchange, peer recovery coaches, education, testing for blood borne pathogens, vaccinations, addiction treatment referrals and other social services. Syringe-exchange programs in other areas of the country has reduced the number of new Hepatitis cases by more than50% in just the first year of existence.  Statistics also reveal that more than 50% of participants in harm reduction programs not only accept treatment referrals but are also far more successful in their recovery. Several studies nationwide indicate that cities that have syringe-exchange programs have more than 60% fewer needle sticks for their first responders and healthcare professionals. 

 

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