Grants give boost to substance-abuse fight

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By Vince Luecke

Money to bolster education, detection, treatment programs

PERRY COUNTY - Eleven local groups will share $33,955 to support substance-abuse prevention across the county. Grants were presented June 23 by the Perry County Substance Abuse Committee.

Money will be used for drug abuse prevention, treatment and anti-abuse educational programs. This year's grants were divided into three categories, prevention-education, treatment-intervention and law-enforcement-justice.

Grant Recipients

Prevention and Education

The Cannelton Police Department was awarded $1,000 for its Camp with a Cop program. The three-day police youth camp, held June 18-20 at Victory Valley Church Camp near Cannelton, drew more than 40 boys and girls entering sixth through ninth grades. In addition to providing opportunities for recreation and learning, the camp promotes respect for law and educates campers on the warning signs and effects of drug and alcohol abuse.

Lincoln Hills Development Corp.'s Youth Service Bureau was awarded $5,000 for substance-abuse prevention and educational activities. LHDC will provide drug prevention, ed-ucation and leadership training to county youth in fifth through eighth grades through after-school and leadership programs.

Activities will serve students who are often unsupervised and are the most likely to experiment with tobacco, drug and alcohol use and other risky behaviors. Funds will be used for Afternoons Rock, Changing Lives and Stopping Substance Abuse, known under the acronym Class-A, and a role-model program.

Crisis Connection Inc. will use its $1,500 grant to support its dating-violence prevention and anti-substance-abuse efforts.

Community-education specialists will provide educational seminars to community professionals and church groups and youth groups on dating violence, date rape, sexual assault and the involvement of drugs and alcohol. A Communities Against Rape curriculum has been developed for middle- and high-school students.

Perry Central Community School Corp. received $8,525 for its Perry Central Prevention Initiative, an effort to prevent the abuse of alcohol, methamphetamine and other illegal drugs.

Activities include a community education and discussion forum on meth, prevention and awareness programs for students, the school's Students Taking Action Not Drugs program and after-school prevention activities that include Operation Snowflake and a drug- and alcohol-free after-prom celebration.

Cannelton School Corp.'s $500 grant will fund its Learn and Serve Line Dancing project that promotes community service by inviting students to gauge needs in the their community and by tying in line-dancing to occupy hours for students, helping them avoid experimentation with drugs and alcohol. "This is also a way to teach students that you can have fun without the use of alcohol or drugs," the school's proposal said.

Treatment-Intervention Grants

A $1,920 grant to Branchville Correctional Fa-cility will fund Back Row Enterprises, an intensive substance-abuse treatment group that serves men on probation, parole and those incarcerated at Branchville. The project serves as a support group that offers education, treatment and support for those who share a common history of incarceration and addiction.

A $2,000 grant to the Perry County Office of the Department of Child Services will provide discretionary funds to help cover unmet needs of families challenged by substance abuse. Funds can be used to help with drug rehabilitation, medical treatment, medications, therapy, children's clothing and emergency transportation.

The goal is help families help themselves overcome obstacles created by substance abuse and to help keep families intact.

Crisis Connection will use its $5,500 treatment-intervention grant to provide crisis-intervention services for families affected by domestic and sexual violence. Services include a 24-hour hotline, crisis counseling, emergency transportation, safe lodging and assessments.

Perry Central Community School Corp.'s $1,000 grant will encourage students who test positive in random drug and alcohol tests being initiated at the school to attend counseling with their families. Students who test positive a second time will be encouraged to participate in treatment programs. The grant will also provide financial assistance to families.

Law Enforcement-Justice

Cannelton Police Department's Back to Basics program will provide training to officers and citizens on the warning signs of methamphetamine making, selling and use. The department received $2,710 for the project.

Perry Circuit Court's Project BART, an acronym for Breath Alcohol Random Testing, was granted $4,800 to ensure accountability for residents on probation with the court, including men and women ordered not to use alcohol during their probation. Off-duty officers administer the random alcohol-breath tests.