Other Voices: Final notes on Meth Action Team work
Almost daily we read in the newspapers and watch on our local television stations about arrests and criminal behavior associated with meth use and other drug use. In Nevada County it is a persistent problem.
In too frequent news articles we hear about meth-fueled arrests involving guns, reckless driving and other dangerous behavior. In countless discussions with youth we hear how easy meth is to obtain, how frequently it is used, how hard it is to quit, how much trouble it causes.
For the past year the Nevada County Meth Action Team has been able to create a forum for people, with an emphasis on youth, for the purpose of becoming more aware of how to combat these problems in our community.
Nevada County was one of 10 counties in California that received a year-long grant to create an environmental prevention program around meth awareness. This grant is now ending.
However, the work is moving forward. Through an action designed to raise community awareness about the problem, the Meth Action Team spreads knowledge about prevention and education, alternatives and resources, ways to get involved and make a difference, and solid, straightforward information.
Part of our strategy included creating educational materials and giving public presentations to schools and organizations; forming a CARE program partnership with Child Protective Services and others; and sponsoring a countywide film and art meth awareness contest and Miners Foundry festival.
We formed partnerships with other organizations, such as Community Recovery Resources, Common Goals, and the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County. We continue to air a weekly news segment during the Monday night news on KVMR, and created a local film about real-life local meth stories (available upon request).
We joined with local businesses (you can use our coffee warmers at most of the local coffee shops), and presented art and film with strong messages.
Please visit our Web site, http://www.nevadacountymethactionteam.com, which is loaded with excellent material every youth, parent and community member should know.
As our program comes to a close, some of our young volunteers will be joining the Youth Sector of the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County and its NEO youth program. Several of our youth and adult allies will be available for speaking presentations through Community Recovery Resources. For more information call 470-2644 or Joyce Peterman and Tasha Senn at Community Recovery Resources.
The work is just beginning. The goal is quality of life, freedom from addiction and freedom to follow your dreams.
Michele Schiro is project coordinator for the Nevada County Meth Action Team at the Nevada County Behavioral Health Department.
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