PSDT focuses on survey, ad campaign
By Matt Echelberry
The Public Safety and Drug Abuse Team held a meeting at the County Courthouse on Dec. 6. Galion Police Chief Brian Saterfield, who serves as the chair of PSDT, updated the group on the Risk Behavior Survey to be conducted at county schools for grades 7–12. Altogether, 12 schools in the county are participating, including public, secular and Pioneer CTC.
The parental consent letters for the roughly 3,500 students have been delivered and surveys should be completed by the end of the month. The survey is sponsored by PSDT and the Marion-Crawford ADAMH Board, as a means to gather data on drug trends. Jody Demo-Hodgins, executive director of Crawford and Marion County ADAMH, said they will have raw date in January, but there would be no written report until the spring. The data does not compare individual schools, only Crawford County as a whole compared to national data.
Saterfiled was pleased to announce that there were zero drug-related EMS calls in Galion for the month of November. Galion Health Department Commissioner Dr. Steve Novack added it was the first time this year that there were no calls.
Another announcement was that Crawford County currently ranks 8th in Ohio for per capita overdose deaths, an improvement compared to previous rankings. Novack asked, “Are we getting better or are other counties getting worse?”
Also, Avita Health Systems is doing a county-wide health assessment in the near future.
PSDT briefly discussed Community Care March, held in Galion on Nov. 3. Saterfield said he was disappointed by the low turnout. However, the annual event will continue; it is to be held in Crestline in 2013.
One member asked if the date of the event should be changed to an earlier date. However, Pastor Mike Corwin wants the event to “stay consistent” and continue being held on the first Saturday of November. The ultimate question the group is faced with is: How do we get more people to show up?
They also talked about the Opiate Summit, which was held on Nov. 15 at the County Fairgrounds. Among some of the feedback she received, Demo-Hodgins noted that the idea of using recovered addicts to help in prevention was interesting. Some attendees also said that treatment and prevention groups have not been engaging the “culture of drug users.”
The discussion then focused on the re-socialization and transitioning process that recovering addicts must go through, as well as issues involving probation. In relation to the topic, an Ohio Risk Assessment Survey is being conducted through the University of Cincinnati regarding reformation of prison sentencing.
The final item of business the group discussed was the possibility of a public ad campaign. Jim Cox from the Crawford Partnership for Education and Economic Development said Crawford: 20/20 Vision would most likely be able to buy a billboard(s), PSDT would simply need to decide on the content.
One problem members pointed out is that there is a lack of resources for helping people that suffer from addiction, so they would need to be cautious on what to put on the billboard. However, they expressed a desire in empowering communities through the publicity.
Public Safety and Drug Abuse Team’s next meeing is Jan. 24 at 3 p.m., at the Galion Public Library.