1st QUARTER REPORT— 10/15/18
Special Events –The FC coordinator directs the UR Choice, UR Destiny Teen Maze, held September 17 – 20, 2018, serving students from Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, and Walker counties. This week-long event teaches sophomore youth about the dangers of risky behaviors. The goal of Teen Maze is to explain preventative measures students can take to help lessen/stop their chances of associating in these risky /dangerous behaviors. Colonnade Theater youth participated in the theatrics of different stations—crash scene and emergency room. There were 350+ volunteers from all four counties, serving the approximately 1,600 students that attended. EMS, Law Enforcement, Mental Health, Public Health, Consumer Counseling, Entrepreneurship, DFCS, DJJ, Funeral Homes, clergy, SA Treatment Centers, and five school systems, as well as individual volunteers were involved in the implementation of the Teen Maze. The Key note speakers were former DUI inmate, Chris Sandy and magician Jaden Maxwell, whose father was killed by a drunk-driver. Teen Maze Surveys were collected at the event and entered to Survey Monkey. At the substance use disorder station, administered by mental health professionals, the question was asked to the students, “If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?” Students responded on a post-it note and attached them to the wall. The top two answers were, “my attitude” and “my relationship with my parents.” These responses re-affirm the need for the initiative to reach more parents with our strategies, and encourage more interaction between them and their children about the use of substances and other consequences that come with it.
The CaPI staff and Center for Hope prepared and successfully incorporated individuals who are in substance abuse recovery as speakers at the Substance Abuse Station for this year’s maze. Financial requests for sponsorship of the Teen Maze were successful. The Walker County Commissioner donated $7,500 and a $10,000 sponsorship from the Catoosa Sheriff’s Department was given again this year. An additional $5,000+ were given by various community groups and businesses! All five Schools Systems supported the maze and local businesses also contributed food, equipment, materials and services. The goal of sustainability grows with each passing year of the UR Choice, UR Destiny Teen Maze.
Training – Our ASAPP and GEN Rx Project Coordinators (PC) attended/presented at the “D.B.H.D.D. 2018 Office of Behavioral Health Prevention Conference Community Heroes: Rising Up! Taking Action!” This conference was held at the Jekyll Island Club from July 29—August 1st. Coordinators from all three GEN Rx participating counties in Georgia came together to teach the “GEN Rx Community Heroes Over Prescription Drug Misuse” class. This class saw about 40-45 attendees and discussed different strategies being used throughout the state to help combat prescription drug misuse/abuse through prevention.
Our GEN Rx PC also attended the National Conference on Alcohol and Addiction Disorders (NCAD) conference in Anaheim, California. This conference provided a variety of classes in prevention and treatment which allowed attendees to be updated on new language/terminology being used among these fields. PC made new connection after attending a class by a gentleman who works for the opioid prescription drug prevention program in upstate New York. This connection allowed us to compare and contrast what we are both doing in our areas. PC plans to begin implementing Deterra Drug Deactivation bags in coming months partnering with Hospice in the area.
The Family Connection coordinator and both ASAPP and GEN-Rx coordinators attended the Georgia School on Addiction Studies (GSAS) in Savannah, GA the last week of August. GSAS provided classes teaching about effects of alcohol and drugs on the brain/body when abused/misused. This information helps coordinators better explain to people the harm and seriousness of substance abuse in our community. The highlight of the conference was the keynote speaker, Mackenzie Phillips, who is best known for her role on the hit television sitcom One Day At a Time. Ms. Phillips turned her life around after many years of drug and alcohol abuse and is now a substance abuse disorder counselor at Breathe Life Healing Centers in West Hollywood, CA.
Other trainings for this reporting period include State Webinars: Hiring Local Evaluators, ECCO Systems Data Entry, Implementing and Evaluating Social Norms, and Technical Writing. At the community level, The Catoosa Board of Commissioners provided training on Injured Co-Workers, and Hurricanes & Disasters.
Community Events –The FC coordinator organized Catoosa Kids Day again this year on August 2nd at Tiger Creek Elementary School. Both the ASAPP and GEN Rx coordinators setup booths. This event saw around 300 people of all ages. Coordinators spoke with parents and grandparents about all their programs and strategies. ASAPP Social Hosting pamphlets were distributed at Catoosa Kids Day. The GEN Rx PC explaining the importance of locking away prescription medications and using drug drop boxes to safely dispose of any unused/old prescription medications. PC gave 2 medicine safes away to families in need.
The ASAPP and GEN Rx coordinators was invited to teach a class for Recovery at Ringgold. These classes are designed to help people battling the chains of addiction. The GEN-Rx PC spoke directly with a mother in the program who is going through recovery after battling addictions in her own life. He spoke with her regarding prescription drug abuse and risk that could be possible for her young child and provided the mother with a medicine safe and information packets.
The Gen Rx PC attended the Northwest Georgia Senior Living Expo on September 27th. With most youth obtaining prescription drugs from their parents and grandparents medicine cabinets this event provided a terrific chance to explain the importance of safe storage and proper disposal of prescription medications. PC spoke with 150-175 seniors and awarded 2 medicine safes to senior citizens in need.
Strategies—The Fort Oglethorpe Police Department finally received their drug disposal box and drug incinerator. The first two months of operation saw the destruction of 57 pounds of prescription drugs. The GEN-Rx PC has placed advertisements in Catoosa County Newspaper and Good News Magazine. PC also has 3 new billboards and one sign located along the main highway in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. PC connected with editor of newspaper who placed an article in the newspaper telling the public about the new disposal box. PC connected with Neil Roberts of Medicine Safe who is now building medicine safes to directly fit GEN Rx’s needs. These new safes will have better quality control while also costing less. PC has placed order for 150 safes to start new fiscal year. PC’s collaboration with Catoosa County Schools Director of Student Services Dr. Lamar Brown has been approved and GEN Rx will provide the school system medicine safes on an “as needed” basis. PC’s newly designed pharmacy bags have been approved. These bags will display what can be dropped off in the drug disposal box while also explaining the locations of drop off boxes. PC has ordered 12,000 bags to give to local pharmacies. Bags will also contain business cards that tell where to drop off old prescription drugs.
Prevention Parenting classes started on September 13th. Fourteen participants are registered for the course which ends October 25th. The coordinator distributed flyers and notified local agencies of the classes. (Flyers were placed at Catoosa County Health Department, Catoosa County Main Office, Fort Oglethorpe City Hall, Ringgold City Hall, Catoosa Department of Juvenile Justice, Catoosa County Library, Catoosa County School Social Workers, Catoosa County DFCS, Walker County DFCS, Walker County Juvenile Courts, and Walker County school social workers.)
The GEN-Rx PC connected with Sheriff Sisk and Deputy Hooton for the content and design of the Laws Against Prescription Drugs media campaign trifold cards. PC gained approval and ordered 1500 cards. These cards will explain everyday laws that can be easily broken regarding prescription drugs. The cards will also define the difference between a scheduled drug and a dangerous drug.
Since Project Success is a school-based education strategy, the classes ended after school dismissed for the summer. On August 7, CaPI staff provided a refresher’s course to the Project Success facilitators. New school calendars, activity sheets, surveys, and facilitators evaluations were given to the facilitators. We were short several facilitators and had to train them separately after they were hired in. After school started back, assigned facilitators met with school personnel to schedule Project Success. LaFayette Middle did not have room for us in the schedule for the first nine weeks. All others are up and running; the list includes Rossville Middle School and Saddleridge in Walker County and Ringgold, Heritage and Lakeview in Catoosa County.
The ASAP Project continued with the Above the Influence (ATI) yard sign campaign this quarter and sponsorship of golf tournament hole sponsorship, and school ballfield signs. The ATI billboard signs were updated in Catoosa and Walker counties, and in newspapers. Activity sheets for ATI were intertwined with Project Success in the classroom as an activity. A twitter hashtag (#capiati) was created for the Above the Influence Conversation to be used on our twitter page. Pens with ATI logo for surveys came in just in time for the Teen Maze and the strategy was inserted into the maze where students were asked, “If you could change anything about your life, what would it be?” Answers were recorded on post it notes and placed on the ATI feedback board in the substance abuse station. Those answers will be compiled and used in the final assessment for the year by our Local Evaluator. That data will also be shared with the Catoosa Coroner to use in her substance abuse classes that she teaches.
The Catoosa County Coroner participated in a ATI PSA, which was aired the month of September on UCTV-3. It will run through November 15. The PSA will be modified somewhat and will air on prime-time television beginning in October. It will have to be resubmitted to the state for approval before it can run.
Catoosa Family Collaborative is a part of the Northwest Georgia SOC Council with a vision that all children and caregivers in the 17-county region have access to timely and appropriate interventions and supports that help children function normally in their families in their communities. Our mission is to create a family driven, youth guided, and culturally competent system of mental health interventions and supports organized into a comprehensive and integrated network to meet the multiple and changing needs of children and their families. Due to changes in our previous Catoosa Community of Hope site, the steering committee has chosen the Village Green neighborhood to be our CoH for this next year. The GAFCP and GENRx coordinators attended the System of Care Academy conference in Stone Mountain, GA in June. This conference was held by DBHDD and offered classes explaining how to better pull/work together with other organizations to help our Community of Hope, economically fragile neighborhood.
Early Education Empowerment Zones or E3Z’s are regions of the state that have agreed to work in partnership with the Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) and other state agencies to pilot early education system reform initiatives and partnerships to support better outcomes for young children. Catoosa is one of five counties in a Northwest Georgia zone that is sharing over $1-million in targeted resources and participating in research that will help the state identify sustainable and replicable implementation strategies that can be scaled statewide. The Title 1 Parent Involvement program in the Catoosa County School System has been holding workshops and activities to educate parents of school age children. Examples of these include: test preparation, parent volunteer trainings, Field Day activities, family health information meetings, Lunch /Learn sessions, Night at the Museum activities, Donuts for Dads meetings Reading Is Fundamental programs, Math Night, Reading/Language Arts Night, Learn Technology sessions, Curriculum Nights, and Discipline Workshops. The Catoosa County Adult Literacy Center continues to provide numerous opportunities for adults to learn to read, earn their GED, and receive employability training.