ASAP resolution for 2017: No more drug overdose deaths
The most important goal of 2017 for the Boyle County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy is to eliminate drug overdose deaths in the county, ASAP Director Kathy Miles said.
Boyle ASAP recently developed a strategic plan for the remainder of the 2016-17 fiscal year and the coming 2017-18 fiscal year that will focus on five areas, including administrative/operations, harm reduction, prevention and education, treatment and recovery and enforcement.
The strategic plan was approved at ASAP’s regular meeting on Friday, after the plan was discussed during a special board meeting on Jan. 17.
With each focus area, there are several goals and tasks that ASAP plans to follow.
“Clearly, the most immediate need we want to meet is to stop the deaths from overdoses,” Miles said. “We want that number to be zero immediately and stay there.”
ASAP aims to accomplish that by providing overdose response trainings, distributing naloxone kits, distributing printed overdose information and supporting EMS and law enforcement financially by purchasing naloxone kits.
Along with eliminating all drug overdose deaths in the county, another goal ASAP has is to decrease the spread of Hepatitis C, HIV and other related health and safety concerns due to the use of IV drugs.
Under this goal, ASAP plans to provide financial support to the syringe exchange program at the health department and educate the community about the program and help promote it.
The third goal ASAP has is to prevent the misuse of medications in Boyle County homes by children and adults.
To help prevent this, ASAP will provide financial support for two drug drop-boxes in Boyle County and help promote the use of those boxes.
The last goal is to educate children and youth in Boyle County about drug safety steps and measure for finding needles, the plan states.
Associated tasks are to provide information to parents, educators, children and youth about the “Children’s Needle Project,” which is kid-friendly information about what to do if a child encounters a needle. The project uses coloring books and other handouts to inform kids, Miles said.
Prevention and Education
The hardest goal to accomplish under the strategic plan, according to Miles, is related to prevention and education.
“Logistically, the most difficult part of (Prevention and Education) is related to getting accurate information to parents of children and youth,” Miles said. “We see this as a bigger challenge than getting information to kids, as we have no place where all parents are a ‘captive audience.’”
Miles said the board has discussed increasing ASAP’s social media presence, improving its presence at community events, as well as networking with organizations in the area who serve parents in several ways.
Under this category, ASAP’s first goal for prevention and education is to educate every Boyle County student from kindergarten through high school about alcohol, drugs and tobacco.
ASAP will partner with the school systems to provide funding for the curriculum, speakers and other sources when needed.
The second goal is to have annual education about substance abuse issues for all educators in Boyle County. ASAP will partner with school administrators to provide training for the educators.
The third goal is to provide the same kind of information about substance abuse issues for all parents in Boyle County. The task for this goal is to partner with the schools and provide regular educations programs for parents.
Another goal is to get the area high schools to develop peer support programs in order to train and provide continual support to youth who model and advocate for youth to be healthy and substance free, the plan states.
To reach this goal, ASAP will partner with the schools to provide information, collaboration and leadership as needed.
The last goal is to support and collaborate with existing programs in the community. The tasks are to provide financial support to area high school project graduations, to truth and consequences programs and to collaborate with other organizations in the community to maintain and develop other programs.
Under administrative/operations, there are three goals and tasks for each goal including:
• Improve internal and external organizational communication and name recognition through a new website and improved social media accounts.
The task for this goal is for ASAP to redo its website, regular update information, rename the Facebook page, improve usage to maximize effectiveness and develop and improve its logo.
• Improve its financial monitoring and planning.
The task under this goal is for the ASAP finance committee to meet regularly, make recommendations and explore options for additional sources of funding that will recommended to the board by the end of this fiscal year.
• Improve organizational support of the work of the board.
Their task for this goal is to obtain liability insurance from its directors and officers and approve the organizational policy and procedure manual.
Treatment and recovery
As stated in ASAP’s strategic plan, the goals and tasks that follow are:
• Continue to improve treatment access for Boyle County residents.
ASAP will continue to accept donations from individuals and organizations for treatment and sending people to treatment.
ASAP received donations that was used to help send individuals to treatment, and as a result of the fund donated last year, ASAP helped send 10 individuals to treatment, Miles said.
A little over $450 has been spent for travel to treatment programs outside of the county, Miles said.
ASAP is “so appreciative of the individuals, churches and other organizations who have donated to ASAP for this purpose,” she said.
• Help improve public transportation for residents to attend treatment, recovery groups and employment.
ASAP plans to advocate for accessible public transportation.
• Develop accessible and affordable detox treatment in Boyle County.
To reach this goal, ASAP will provide information to existing and potential healthcare providers.
• Improve programs and emerging initiatives, which provide support to families who have active abusers or recovering addicts.
ASAP will utilize a family support list that was generated at a meeting in December.
• Increase the number of people who have quit smoking in Boyle County by attending smoking cessation education.
The associated task is to help provide financial support to the health department’s smoking cessation program and publicize the program.
• Contribute to the quality of area treatment and recovery programs available in area resident.
ASAP aims to do this by providing funding for programs and support materials when available.
To help Danville-Boyle County law enforcement, ASAP’s goals and tasks are to:
• Contribute to the passage of a county-wide smoke-free ordinance.
ASAP plans to help provide information and advocate for a smoke-free ordinance when public officials pursue such a policy.
• Assist parents of teens in knowing and understanding the existing social host ordinance for Boyle County, the plan states.
ASAP will provide information and warn people of the stipulations and penalties associated with the ordinance.
According to Kentucky’s Alcohol Prevention Enhancement Site, the social host ordinance hold individuals criminally responsible for hosting or permitting an event or gathering on private or public property where individuals under 21 to consume alcohol.
• Improve training and support for members of local law enforcement related to substance abuse.
ASAP plans to work with law enforcement to provide support and relevant training as requested by law enforcement.
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