The Highland County Drug Abuse Prevention Coalition (HCDAPC) gave multiple updates on different county organizations at its monthly meeting Wednesday afternoon.
Creed Culbreath, the REACH for Tomorrow collaboration director, updated the HCDAPC on the Quick Response Team (QRT). He said that the QRT is currently working to try and meet with people in situations sooner, rather than after that person has had law enforcement charges filed.
He said some counties have been doing something he called “pre-arrests,” where some members of the team do a ride-along with law enforcement. However, Culbreath said that while the idea would not be practical in Highland County, the QRT has come up with something that would work for both law enforcement and QRT.
He also said the idea they came up with involves the QRT can making contact with people right after a crisis or other situation. Some examples he gave were an overdose or contact with law enforcement.
Culbreath said that he’s looking forward to the results of drug-related reports in the future because the county has seen “far less” reports in the last four weeks compared to other counties. However, he also said that the county has still seen hospitalizations for different drug-related problems and “that tells me there’s still work to be done.”
Culbreath said the above numbers are the raw, not translated to a per capita rate, and that it make sense that Highland County would have less than some other counties. But he also said that it has less than some neighboring counties with fewer people.
Jeff Meyer, a representative from the prevention committee, said the organization reached out to Highland County Sheriff Donnie Barrera about a drug take back program at the Highland County Senior Citizens Center. He said they are working to place one at the hospital as well when the hospital does its health fair. He said there could be a deputy there and that the deputy would take the drugs to the local drug disposal box when the events is over.
The next meeting of the HCDAPC is scheduled for Jan. 26.
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.