Every second Monday of every month, concerned citizens, healthcare professionals, law enforcement representatives, agency directors and providers, school personnel, and those active in recovery meet together with a common vision: to live in a community free from the threat of drug abuse and addiction. The Gallia County Citizens for Prevention and Recovery (Gallia CPR) Coalition meets at noon at Holzer Medical Center, which provides all who attend the offer of a satisfying lunch as they discuss, plan and work on the addressing the issues of addiction in our county. Every Gallia County resident, as a “concerned citizen”, has a standing invitation to attend these meetings and help make a difference.
For everyone who has wondered how to make a difference, it may seem that the problems of our community related to drug and alcohol addiction are bigger than can be handled, and quite honestly, a little frightening. Someone may observe a person in a restaurant who is obviously impaired; or one may feel it to be unsafe to stop at a gas station late at night for fear of who may be lurking about; or an impaired driver may be witnessed weaving left and right by another driver. Anyone living in Gallia County who has ever had concern for him or herself, family or community, is a “concerned citizen.”
Gallia CPR Coalition is actively working to help make the community a safer place by uniting concerned citizens to be one voice that tells the truth… that someone caught up in drug addiction is worthy of getting help; that treatment is available; and that there is hope for achieving a better life. At these meetings, information is available to help community members communicate this message to those they know or see in addiction. Members learn what resources are available in the community and how to refer to these resources. There is also a calendar of events that announces opportunities in the community for members to share hope, encouragement, resources, and even stories of those in addiction who have found freedom. Members share that it feels good to be a part of a group of people who are working to share a positive message to help bring about a change.
One emphasis that CPR is currently sharing is that October is Medication Abuse Awareness Month. This emphasis draws attention to the resources available to help our community increase awareness of the potential dangers of medication abuse, and to share how citizens can help prevent medication abuse. Steps to help discourage abuse include 1) Locking up prescription medications when there are young people living in the home, 2) Never sharing prescription medications with someone for whom they are not prescribed, and 3) Properly disposing of medications that are left over or expired. Medication Abuse Awareness Month culminates on October 31st which is “Drug Take Back Day”. Gallia County citizens are invited to take expired or unused medications to the Gallia County Courthouse and deposit these medications freely, without interrogation, into the “Take Back” container. Proper disposal of unused medications is very easy. For more information on Medication Abuse Awareness, go online to www.preventmedabuse.org.
The next meeting of the Gallia Citizens for Prevention and Recovery is Monday, Nov. 12, at noon, at the Holzer Medical Center in the French 500 Room. It is an opportunity to meet many other concerned citizens who are eager to help make a difference.
Lora Jenkins is the Gallia CPR Vice-Chair.