Since 1989 the Governor’s Commission for a Drug-Free Indiana was established to provide a coordinated effort to address drug and alcohol problems in each of the 92 counties. The grass roots model is unique to the Hoosier State and has the capacity to identify conditions specific to the county and also provide the means to fund the programs and strategies by the collection of counter measure fees collected from the arrest and conviction of substance use offenders. The Local Coordinating Council (LCC) has been the backbone of the substance disorder use movement dedicated to advancing a shared agenda and building trusted relationships within the community. The LCC was able to coordinate grant funding to community organizations that represent Awareness and Prevention; Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice; and Treatment, Intervention and Recovery efforts for a total of $172,098.44 this cycle.
The Drug Free Communities (DFC) grant was awarded Year 5 of funding with the possibility of receiving additional dollars for a total of ten years. Senior Grant Manager Stephanie Stephenson recently celebrated her first year with the Council. She was able to organize an active Youth Committee representing all county high schools and mentor raw leadership skills to create a successful Youth Festival that touched hundreds of attendees. The festival was supported by funding and in-kind from the Anderson Foundation, Attorney David Butterfield, Thorgren Tool and Molding, Inc. and a host of others.
The Department of Mental Health Association (DMHA) continued funding through the Partners for Success grant. The additional funding has allowed the Council to extend prevention outreach efforts to support focus groups and community surveys to obtain snapshots of the community to analyze local conditions in urban, suburban and rural locations of the county; increase INSPECT prescription medication monitoring programs and increase school and community presentations in collaboration with the Overdose Lifeline “This is (Not) About Drugs” strategy. Celebrating her first year with the Council, Senior Grant Manager Patti Lembcke has led the charge in piloting new hybrid programming in a partnership with Chad Clifford, owner of Front Porch Music, to engage youth in the evidence-based Media Ready program. An offshoot of the partnership was parlayed into non-traditional music therapy sessions to reinforce strength and purpose for Recovery Connection clients supported by the Local Coordinating Council.
The Anderson Foundation funds allowed us to increase our efforts to reduce youth substance experimentation by creating a positive youth networking base; supporting youth leadership opportunities and promoting prevention and awareness strategies in an effort to spark community engagement and pride in Porter County, Indiana.
By all accounts we have a remarkable coalition comprised of over 145 active professionals and community advocates from all walks of life that volunteer their time and talent to become change agents in the community. A robust sampling of community sectors are Making a Connection when planning strategies and initiatives that impact outcomes for local conditions and best fit. As a coalition we have listened to the community voice and continue to engage members and community in the shared goals and mission of reducing substance use in our county. This report encapsulates the activities and outcomes of the coalition and all the multiple disciplines that work together to make Porter County a recognized leader in Indiana. We would like to inspire and motivate You to join us in the shared vison of creating long lasting, large scale change in our community by collectively moving the needle forward in our efforts to reduce substance use disorder in our county.
Let’s continue Making a Connection,
Tim E. Beach, President, PCSAC
Dawn N. Pelc, MPA, Executive Director