Overton County has received a five year recurring grant of $125,000 for their Drug Coalition program.
Drug Coalition Board of Directors Daryl Colson said this goal took time and teamwork to achieve.
“Oh, we’re overwhelmed with excitement. We’ve been trying to get this grant for several years. It’s taken a lot of hard work, and when we heard we were informed that we received it, we were one of 43 counties in the country that received it this time,” Colson said. “We were just overwhelmed with joy because of the opportunities that will open up for us here in Overton County.”
Colson said drug abuse is a huge issue in Overton County. At least 95% of cases are drug related.
The Coalition’s plan for the grant is to focus on drug education to elementary children. Colson said you can never start too early to notify the dangers of drugs.
“Children are beginning to be exposed to drugs at a much younger age. By being able to get into the classrooms and to implement programs for educating children in the 3rd and 4th grade levels, along with 5th and 6th grade, we’re hoping we can make a big difference in teaching children about the dangers. Sadly, children don’t learn about the dangers until it’s too late,” Colson said.
In addition, Colson said they plan to expand adult drug education, but will maintain the focus on the younger generation.
Since his election in 2014 Colson said he has pushed for more drug prevention programs and is proud of what has been accomplished.
“We’re seeing some good results, but you can’t take your foot off the gas pedal so to speak because this is a problem that if you do it’s just going to come back and bite ‘ya,” Colson said. “So we’re really proud of where we’re at and where we’re headed.”
Overton County has also accepted a renewed grant for a Recovery Course that was established in 2015.