Nichole Hannahs

Coalition Works to Make Change

by Nichole Hannahs on January 17, 2013 at 6:22 am

A local coalition begins to move forward with plans to combat drug and alcohol abuse in Muskingum County.

The Drug and Alcohol Coalition began meeting in September and has since broken up into six committees to focus on different areas including health, law enforcement and prevention. Thursday, they talked about the goals of each committee. One is to help loved ones lost to drug and alcohol abuse.

"We’re trying to develop a local Solace Chapter which is a chapter that helps grieving people who have lost loved ones from drug and alcohol abuse and that is something we do not have in our community, a lot of, so this would just give them another avenue to tell their story and feel like there is somebody to listen to them," said Muskingum Behavioral Health Prevention Coordinator Kris Headley.

Heather Rice serves on the health committee and is director at Help Me Grow. Her organization helps kids who are born with a disadvantage. She got involved after seeing an increase in babies born in the county with drugs in their systems, which can affect development.

"We’re trying to educate local physicians, OBGYNs, as well as general practitioners about not prescribing opiates to moms who are pregnant, really helping doctors communicate," said Rice. "We’re educating mom about it not being a good idea and having a healthy pregnancy."

Rice said in March they’ll meet with a physicians group to speak to them about the issue and how to help children after their born.