BY DEBBIE PAGE
Drug Alcohol Coalition of Iredell Director Jill McLelland urged community members who work with youth to participate in the virtual Truth About Vaping event on Tuesday, November 17, and Wednesday, November 18. Both sessions are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The seminar, which features state and local experts, targets youth advocates, teachers, parents, school nurses, community members, public health professionals and other medical professionals interested in the prevention/reduction of youth vaping.
DACI is partnering with the Northwest Area Health Education Center and Wake Forest School of Medicine for this event. Registration is available at http://nwahec.org/64464. (Free registration or $25 fee if desire to earn .75 CEUs through Northwest AHEC).
McLelland also has drug lockboxes, Narcan nasal spray, and Deterra safe drug disposal kits, funded through a Community Impact of NC grant, available to agencies or individuals in need of them. Contact her at email@example.com.
Syringe Safe Iredell drop boxes are being added to the drug drop boxes at the Troutman Police Department and Lake Norman Regional Medical Center. The Statesville and Mooresville police departments and the Iredell Memorial Hospital ER boxes already have the syringe drop boxes attached.
McLelland also announced a $2,500 grant from the Iredell Adult Collaborative to cover printing costs for DACI’s upcoming awareness campaign.
“Most folks don’t know how to access services or what services are available in Iredell County, so we are working to create a rack card that can be left at medical and dental offices and other places where folks may go with brief bullet point information on how to access mental health, substance use, low cost healthcare, and food resources,” she said.
“We’ll also have a business card that we will give to our police officers and EMS workers to have on hand. There will also be a social media advertising campaign, and we will also be updating our local resource guide (available at http://daciredell.org/wp-content/uploads/Iredell-County-Resource-Guide-1-1.pdf).”
Any new agencies or organizations who want to be included in the resource guide can enter their information at http://daciredell.org/for-new-resources/. To update agency information in the guide, go to http://daciredell.org/current-resource-update-change/.
The campaign will roll out in phases starting in November and continue into next year.
McLelland also noted that the county’s students are struggling, especially those in high school.
“The social distancing has been hard across the board. All our numbers up — mental health, substance use, the suicide rate is rising. Kids live to go to school and be around peers and to see their friends. That social network has been taken way from them.”
McLelland has also heard some reports that domestic violence numbers are up, and that child abuse and neglect is on the rise.
“This is now, but what does this mean for five and 10 years down the road? How are we going to help these kids adjust and come through this as unscathed as possible? I don’t know what the answer to that is, but some groups are going to begin meeting to see how we can come together to help”
She urged DACI members to reach out to families with kids, particularly single parents, to ask what they can do to help and support on an individual level.
“We’ve got to do better, and we’ve got to figure out a path through this.”
IREDELL COUNTY NC DETECT DATA
To illustrate the increasing numbers during the pandemic lockdowns and restrictions, McLelland shared recent NC DETECT data related to drug and alcohol misuse in Iredell County.
With 404 medication and drug overdoses through October, the county is rapidly approaching the 2019 total of 424 overdoes.
The county has had 89 opioid overdoses through October, also near the 2019 total of 99. Heroin overdoses so far in 2020 are at 44, just short of the 49 total for last year. The 47 heroin-related emergency room visits through October have already topped the 36 reported in 2019.
Benzodiazepine overdoses this year are up 10 (49 to 39) over all of 2019. Alcohol abuse and dependency numbers through October (1,128) are only 11 less than all of 2019 (1,139). Drug abuse and dependency numbers so far this year (1,409) look to be outpacing th 1,541 reported in 2019.
Terri Masiello of Piedmont Mediation announced free eviction mediation services (by referral) by trained, neutral third-party mediators working with renters and landlords to reach an agreement. The process will present both parties an opportunity to express concerns, interests, needs and wants in a confidential setting.
The process can serve as an avenue for paying restitution for damages, losses or rent and be an alternative to expensive court action. The mediation services are available virtually and by telephone.
For more information, visit online at https://mnnc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/MNNC-SEF____-Flyer-Final.pdf. Contact the Landlord Tenant Line at (336) 461-3300 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Legal Aid of NC also offers free legal help for tenants at 866-219-5262.
♦ Sandy Tabor Gray with Iredell County EMS said that her Post Overdose Response Team is providing backpacks with food, toiletries, masks, hand sanitizer, and NARCAN (if needed), to those who are at or near homelessness. They can also provide NARCAN to people in the community who need it or have family members that may need it.
♦ Leslie Deal with Carolinas Care (http://www.carolinascare.org) said her organization, through a SAMSA grant, provides opioid misuse, prevention and treatment for LBGTQ youth 14 to 25 and also help to people living with HIV. For more information, contact Deal at email@example.com.
♦ Mooresville Police Detective Dan Miglin said a Community Resource Coordinator position is being added to help with domestic violence victims as well as underlying substance abuse causes. The person will be a victim advocate with social work and counseling duties. To fund the position, the Mooresville Police Department received a three-year, $480,964 grant to assist victims of domestic or dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
♦ Grief Share and Divorce Care at The Cove Church is having Zoom “Surviving the Holidays” groups beginning on Tuesday, November 17. Cove rep Lisa Johnson said the holidays are extra hard with loss either through death or divorce combined with COVID-19 restrictions. The church’s Celebrate Recovery groups are also meeting online. Contact Lisa Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org to get a Zoom invitation or call 704-655-3002, Ext. 321.
♦ Southside Baptist Church in Mooresville (525 S. Broad Street.) has resumed Celebrate Recovery meetings in person on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.
♦ Christ Church Celebrate Recovery in Statesville (2172 Wilkesboro Highway) meets on Thursdays in person from 7 to 7:45 p.m. and then for open share from 7:45 to 8:45 p.m.
The next DACI meeting is on Monday, January 11, at 11 a.m. Contact McLelland for a Zoom invitation.