SULLIVAN COUNTY, TN (WJHL)- In the midst of what some are calling a “drug epidemic” the Sullivan County Anti-Drug Coalition is furthering its initiatives to prevent substance abuse in our region. The coalition is hoping to provide tools to fight addiction and drug abuse while aiding in prevention.
The Sullivan County Anti-Drug Coalition is promoting practices within the community that will deter prescription drug abuse as well as underage alcohol and tobacco use. Coalition Director Alice McCaffrey said, “I believe that if we collectively choose we can create a community that is healthy for everyone and we don’t have to have these substances.”
While the coalition was formed around prevention, McCaffrey says there’s another essential piece of the puzzle. “Preventing relapse is an important piece of prevention and we do recognize that there is a huge need for treatment and recovery,” she said.
Drug and alcohol rehabilitation efforts are on the organization’s radar and community members agree that addiction treatment is essential to bettering the region.
Fairview Housing Community Relations Director Linda Austin said, “We would like to be able to get the Tri-Cities healthy enough that new employers will be drawn to the area because the workforce will be here available. Right now, when potential employers look at this area, because of the quality of life here and the low cost of living, it’s very attractive but when they see the drug epidemic that we’re fighting here … it is a deterrent.”
One way that the coalition is hoping to further its prevention goals is by promoting its app. The app is a way for the community to help keep the coalition informed of establishments that aren’t carding for alcohol purchases and also where second-hand smoke may pose a hazard to the public.
McCaffrey said, “We can eliminate the opportunity and we can change the environment so that it’s easier to make good choices we can do a lot.” The coalition’s next meeting will be held on September 8th and will feature a presentation from local lawmakers.
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