Some Quick Facts Learned about Van Zandt County Drug and Alcohol Abuse at the Visions Meeting
On Tuesday, May 8, 2018, I was privileged to sit in on the Visions meeting and learn some quick facts about Van Zandt County. The speaker for this month was Kristel Morris of the Regional Community Liaison East Texas Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse or ETCADA. ETCADA is involved with many different programs, and the one thing that we all are familiar with is Red Ribbon Week. They are responsible for the curriculum our children learn about drugs and alcohol in our school systems.
Now, for some quick facts about Van Zandt County that you might or might not know. I am going to give you only three facts that I think are alarming, but not wholly surprising.
For Marijuana use in Regions four and five (we are small, so they grouped us), stay focused on the fact that we have higher rates in the State of current school year use, and lifetime use for all grades 7-12.
Of prescription Drug use, we have the highest reported current, school year, and lifetime use. We have the highest reported rate in the State for the two opioid categories which include: Codeine Cough Syrup, OxyContin, Percodan, Percocet, Vicodin, Lorcet, and Hydrocodone.
Yet for some reason, Van Zandt County has the second lowest rate of substance use disorder treatment per 100,000 population in the region.
The facts are shocking, but year after year we do the same thing over and over again. Red Ribbon Week is a great program for the younger grades. Maybe it is time to try something new. Why don’t we show what the future looks like when they do drugs, and what it does to the body? If you would like more information about how you could help or you might want more information contact ETCADA or Prevention Resource Center 4, where you can also download the Regional Needs and Assessment for 2017.