Anti-drug coalition needs community support

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The Campbellsville/Taylor County Anti-Drug Coalition has been educating our children for the past 17 years. The Coalition has been financed through state and U.S. Government grants. The majority of those grant funds have either been eliminated or have become increasingly more competitive, thus future funding is questionable for the immediate future.

The grant applications indicated that local funds would continue funding the Coalition when federal funds were no longer available. The time has come when local organizations should step forward and fund the Coalition.

The Taylor County School District has helped the Coalition by providing office space. Taylor Regional Hospital has committed to offer meeting space and meals for monthly coalition meetings, and the UK Cooperative Extension Office has submitted a strong letter of support. Without continued funding, our children would not receive the education that they need to help them make smart choices about experimenting with mind-altering substances such as illegal drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol and tobacco.

Coalition staff includes one full-time and one part-time employee. These individuals have worked diligently to provide the needed tools, research and drug education to students, teachers, parents and community members. Without these employees, the Coalition would become ineffective at reaching the individuals of our community.

Most Coalition members have full-time jobs and would be unable to take time from their jobs to function in these positions. We must find the funds to continue to serve the young people of our community. It would be a minor expense for Campbellsville City Council, Taylor County Fiscal Court, Taylor County School District and Campbellsville School District if they were to agree to share in the expense. Our children need the Coalition's voice to instill the facts and consequences of long-term drug abuse, combat peer pressure, which will help them stay healthy and drug free, stay free of criminal activity and reduce drug, alcohol and tobacco in our schools and daily lives.

The positive outcomes from successful substance abuse prevention efforts are many. Multiple studies indicate that $1 spent on prevention can result in roughly $10 in long-term savings.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has done many studies on prevention programs and noted that investing dollars in preventive intervention programs is not only a good public health practice, but it is a good economic practice as well.

Direct and indirect benefits include less need for treatment of substance addiction and dependence, reduced crime and delinquency, fewer incidents of family violence, improved school attendance and academic achievement and better health outcomes. Substance abuse impacts one's ability to function constructively and is a significant impediment to gainful employment and financial self-sufficiency.

Paul Lacy

Taylor County Sheriff's Office