Volunteers needed to fight teen drug use

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Volunteers and new members are needed to help the Covington County Children’s Policy Coalition combat youth substance abuse in Covington County.

The group, which began in 1999, meets monthly.

“The Coalition is a Drug Free Communities grantee and a Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant grantee,” said Jessie Stephens of the CCCPCC. “Through these grants, the Coalition addresses the use of marijuana, prescription pills and alcohol amongst youth in Covington County through a variety of programs and strategies that involve the school systems, law enforcement agencies and local businesses.”

Last fall, the CCCPCC received a $650,000 grant to combat marijuana and prescription pill abuse in the county.

The organization will get $125,000 each year for five years.

“The next five years, we are concentrating our efforts on marijuana and prescription pill abuse,” director Susan Short said. “Marijuana’s perception of risk is going down and usage is going up.”

The organization also sponsors the peer helper programs at all six high schools in the county and administers the PRIDE survey at local high schools.

Retired District Judge Trippy McGuire serves as the chairman, and members of the community serve the organization.

Volunteer opportunities are available for both youth and adults, Stephens said.

“We deal with any issue that affects children birth through age 19,” Short said. “Though, we do a lot with drug prevention, that’s not all we do. We address all the issues, so there are many ways for people to volunteer. We need volunteers in all facets.”

The organization meets the fourth Tuesday of the month at 3 p.m., at the Covington County Board of Education.

For more info, call 881-2319.