Substance abuse team looking for ideas

The Rainy River Substance Abuse Prevention Team (SAP) is putting out feelers to community organizations and volunteers for ideas on substance abuse/injury programming to be submitted with their three-year activity plan to the Ministry of Health next week.
SAP is now about halfway through Year Two of its five-year program. Programming areas include a youth component, seniors, motor vehicles, and the workplace.
“If people have an idea in mind, SAP is definitely interested in helping it get off the ground,” co-ordinator Elaine Caron said yesterday. “The SAP team is open to anybody.
“[The Ministry of Health] is making us think ahead [and] their big goal is to make [the plan] successful so that the community can sustain it [in the future],” she explained.
So far, a number of ideas for the long range plan have been submitted, including alternative activities for youth, a “Grab-A-Cab” program during the festive season, and the development of a home party education package for homeowners.
“Youth dances [and] the ‘Grab-A-Cab’ will be implemented before next year,” said Caron, noting the latter idea would involve handing out cab vouchers to people during festive times of the year to deter drinking and driving.
“The home party pack would [educate] about things like the liabilities involved with serving alcohol [to guests],” she added.
Also coming up is a district-wide newsletter for seniors which Caron hoped would be in the mail sometime next month. The quarterly newsletter will provide education on health issues, and information on community services and organizations geared to seniors.
“It also will include information on what’s going on with medication safety,” noted Caron.
Also in the planning stages is a slew of activities for Drug Awareness Week, which is slated Nov. 15-19.
“Drug Awareness Week has never been done before in this community,” said Caron. “We’re hoping to gear a lot of it towards junior high.”
The “Fatal Vision” drinking and driving simulator, which was a popular activity at the Emo fall fair last month, also is scheduled as part of the lineup that week.
Caron said details were in the works for a medication cabinet clean-up program to be held during Drug Awareness Week, with the focus on educating seniors on the dangers of expired medicines.
SAP has a library of videos, pamphlets, posters, and display boards related to alcohol and substance abuse awareness that are available for public use.
To date, Caron said SAP has been received about $40,000 from the Ministry of Health to help implement substance abuse and injury prevention programming in the district.