Drug fighters reach out to public

Staff Report

GALLIPOLIS — “Local help for local folks” is a tagline that emerged from a recent meeting of the Gallia County Citizens for Prevention and Recovery, the county’s local drug prevention coalition.

The coalition is made up of community members and representatives of organizations who have an interest in addressing the issue of substance abuse in Gallia County by conducting outreach and awareness programs to assist in preventing new cases of addiction as well as to assist in getting those individuals already suffering from addiction the services needed to promote recovery.

A recent community health assessment conducted by the Gallia County Health Department provides some 2016 data regarding the perception of drug use in Gallia County. Ninety-one percent of the respondents (all confirmed Gallia County residents) identified drug use as one of the biggest problems in Gallia County, with only about half of those respondents reporting knowledge of where help could be obtained within the Gallia County community. The coalition in conjunction with HRS, the Field of Hope Counseling Center, the Gallia, Jackson, Meigs Board of Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services, the Gallia County Health Department, local courts and law enforcement and other local government and service related entities have a vision and a mission to change this perception. The coalition strives to reduce the number of cases of addiction in Gallia County and prevent future cases from emerging.

Health Recovery Services, Inc. (HRS) is a local agency that is actively involved in the coalition’s efforts. HRS is a treatment and prevention agency that offers both outpatient and residential treatment options for those suffering from substance use problems. All outpatient sites offer alcohol, drug ,and mental health counseling to include individual and group counseling, case management, urine drug screens, gambling screenings, medication assisted treatment, and information and referral to other services or programs that may meet a person’s needs.

HRS is also a certified provider of prevention services and is available to provide programming in the community and the schools to raise awareness about the dangers of substance abuse and other mental health related issues such as gambling and bullying. HRS will work in conjunction with other service providers and treatment agencies to offer and obtain what is needed by an individual seeking help. A person can receive counseling from HRS while receiving medication elsewhere or vice versa. The same applies to all offered services. It is believed that it often takes many entities being involved to truly help someone obtain and maintain recovery. If someone needs treatment or information regarding treatment or prevention services, he or she should contact the HRS Gallia Outpatient Clinic at 740-446-7010. The clinic is located at 3086 State Route 160 Gallipolis, OH 45631.

The Gallia County Citizens for Prevention and Recovery Coalition is actively working on upcoming community awareness events and activities and welcomes anyone with an interest in assisting in these efforts to attend meetings and get involved. It truly does “take a village” to mobilize and make a difference in our county. There is likely not a person living in Gallia County that has not been impacted, in some way, by this epidemic, and we need people who are motivated to make change.

The coalition will be offering a community awareness and coalition recruitment event that will take place in March, but the planning for that event and other efforts are happening now. Currently meetings are being held at noon on the second Monday of each Month at Holzer Health Systems on Jackson Pike in the French 500 Room. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday Dec.12. If the public would like to attend or to learn more about how you can be involved in the coalition and its efforts (even if unable to attend the current meetings), please contact chairperson Angela Stowers at 740-707-4879.

Stowers reports that as the coalition grows, the meeting days and times will be modified to best meet the interest and availability of the majority and that inability to attend the upcoming meetings as scheduled should not stop someone from reaching out to become involved.

Staff Report