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August 24, 2019

7/22/2019 1:03:00 PM
Substance Abuse Prevention Committee discusses upcoming initiative events
In a rural community much like here in Iowa County, substance abuse has been an area of concern which has needed to be addressed. Initiatives such as the Iowa County Drug Treatment Court and the Opportunity House have proven to be successful in that mission. The work continues.
The Substance Abuse Prevention Committee met this past Thursday to discuss upcoming initiatives planned that work to call attention to substance abuse, and to also further bring in the general public. Those in attendance were Cara Biddick, nurse for the Iowa County Public Health Department, Sue Matye of the Iowa County Public Health Department, Ann Thompson of the Iowa County Public Health Department, Upland Hills Health Pharmacy Mike Peterson, Iowa County Deputy Mike Peterson, Dodgeville School Resource Officer Joe Pepper, Jesse Brogley of Unified Community Services, Iowa County Drug Treatment Court Coordinator Melissa Peterson, Iowa County Board member Bruce Paull, Upland Hills Health Social Worker Kim Emerson, and Kari Bennett of Iowa County Public Health Department.
This fall, the substance abuse prevention sub-committee is planning a panel that addresses the issues found in Iowa County. It is the goal for the panel to be made up of people who have family members that have or struggle with substance abuse, graduates of the Iowa County Drug Court Treatment Program, current participants of the Drug Court Treatment Program, as well as professionals. The tentative date is set for September 25, 5:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the Iowa County Health and Human Services Building. There will be more information closer to that date.
The committee was informed that Tony Hoffmann (inspirational speaker) will be travelling to area school districts this fall to share his experience and how he overcame his addiction. He is well-known for his content for being driven towards middle and high school level students, and has also been a YouTube TED talks speaker and former BMX elite Pro.
Emerson discussed the possibility of having programs coming to schools. One program that was discussed was Dose of Reality, which is targeted towards parents and aims to educate parents about where their children could be hiding their drug paraphernalia.
Barneveld School District recently did a "Wake Up Call" a program that physically sets up a bedroom and shows attendees "warning spots" where paraphernalia could possibly be hidden.
"It's a way for parents to really know what's going on," Emerson said to the committee. "Both of these programs offer that."
Biddick also informed the committee that she attended a prevention conference a couple weeks ago, and had brought back some booklets provided by the Substance abuse and mental health services administration (SAMHSA) for the committee to take a look at. She commended the committee for their work in promoting prevention.
"I came into this committee really not knowing anything about substance use in Iowa County and just leaning on everybody around me to share their knowledge and experience," Biddick said. "Reading through this helped me understand different levels of prevention and addressing specific community needs. It talks a lot about partnering with the right people, which I think we are actually doing a really great job with."

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