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County seeks input on alcohol and drug services

Feather Publishing
8/17/2011

Plumas County is seeking community participation in planning comprehensive Alcohol and Drug services. There will be a meeting Wednesday, Aug. 24, at the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds to address this goal.

After nearly three years without State Department of Alcohol and Drug Program funding or services, Plumas County is ready to take a comprehensive approach to addressing problems associated with the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD) in the community. The Board of Supervisors has given Plumas County Public Health Agency (PCPHA) director Mimi Hall the responsibility of overseeing the startup of these programs as the county’s newly appointed alcohol and drug administrator.

Hall is working with staff and other county partners to restructure, redesign and reprioritize declining resources in an effort to move to a more sustainable future. The agency plans to provide ATOD services following a public health and long-term recovery management model as part of a larger system of services in the community.

To achieve this, the agency is developing a Continuum of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Services Strategic Plan, which will be the guiding force in planning, coordinating and managing a continuum of publicly funded alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery services that are responsive to local needs.

Plumas County has vibrant and strong communities with unparalleled natural beauty and resources; however, individuals, families and communities continue to experience the devastating impacts related to the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Too often, individuals are homeless or unemployed due to problems with alcohol and other drugs, or individuals who could benefit from intervention and treatment services for their substance use issues fill jails and emergency rooms.

It is easy for young people to access alcohol, tobacco and other drugs and they are using these substances at alarmingly high rates and experiencing significant health and safety consequences. Families are struggling to stay intact and some are spending their life savings to put a loved one through treatment. Finally, communities themselves are dealing with alcohol, tobacco and other drug nuisances, drug related crime and a host of other consequences to businesses, community events and their bottom lines in an era of shrinking public resources.

Acknowledging limited public resources for alcohol, tobacco and other drug issues, it is the intent and long-term vision of the county alcohol and drug services that individuals at risk of or experiencing problems related to their substance use will be identified early and referred to appropriate services. Someone looking for help for a friend or family member will only need to make one phone call. Individuals with complex or co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders will have access to integrated treatment services from highly qualified practitioners. Communities will demand change and will implement policies and practices that affect the way alcohol, tobacco and other drugs are viewed and addressed at the local level.

The need and demand for services, coupled with economic challenges, require a clear direction and resources and services that are used in the most efficient, effective and high-quality manner possible. The landscape of the alcohol, tobacco and other drug field will continue to change, but the priority areas and goals developed together with the community will lay the foundation for achieving this task.

A meeting to kick off the planning process will take place Wednesday, Aug. 24, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Serpilio Hall at the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds. A light dinner will be provided, along with child care and activities for children. Those encouraged to attend include young people, families, individuals in recovery, clients currently in treatment, safety net and health care service providers, frontline staff in social service and community provider settings, law enforcement, school personnel, county Health and Human Service departments, and alcohol and drug counseling and treatment providers.

PCPHA staff invite the entire community to join in this groundbreaking work as they embark on implementing a comprehensive and integrated continuum of alcohol, tobacco and other drug services.

For more information, contact Mimi Hall at mimihall@countyofplumas.com or 283-6337. To RSVP, contact Kathleen O’Bryant at kathleenobryant@countyofplumas.com or 283-6427.

 


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