Alliance Recruits Volunteers To Wage War On Drugs

January 25, 1991|By Paul Shread | Paul Shread,Staff writer

The Alliance for a Drug-Free Annapolis is looking for volunteers to help plot the course of the city's war on drugs.

The alliance won a $1 million grant to fight drug abuse last year. Now it is looking for volunteers to serve on six groups that will plan the alliance's anti-drug efforts.

Kathy Miller, chairwoman of the alliance, asked for volunteers atthe group's annual meeting Wednesday night.

"The success of the alliance depends on us being able to work together as a community," she said in a speech to the group. "Our ability to create a drug-free environment rests in our hands."

The grant, from the federal Officeof Substance Abuse Prevention, will be paid out over five years. Thefirst installment, awarded last September, was $273,000.

The grant is for evaluating, planning and implementing programs. Miller said the effort will be community-wide.

"The community will decide whatprograms it believes will be effective to combat the abuse of alcohol and other drugs," she said. "For this partnership to be effective in producing long-term solutions, it is up to all of us to make it work."

Each of the six volunteer groups will focus on one topic: public awareness, neighborhoods, education, intervention and treatment, enforcement and evaluation.

Annapolis is one of 94 communities thatwon grants. Alliance Executive Director Rodney Calver said the federal agency will use information from the communities to find out how bad the drug problem is and what communities are doing to solve it.

Most of the money will pay for staff, consultants and program evaluation. The consultants are Joe Lamp and Stephen Steele of Applied Data Associates, and Randy Rowel, a co-founder of the anti-drug Planning Action Committees and a national drug-abuse prevention authority.

Programs developed as a result of the grant will have to be paid for from other sources, such as grants or government agencies.

About 35 people attended Wednesday's meeting, most of them alliance board members. There are about 150 members of the alliance, including business people, church leaders, city officials and members of various neighborhood anti-drug Planning Action Committees, the Community Action Agency and People Helping People.

The 2-year-old alliance also announced plans to make teen alcohol abuse its focus for 1991.

"Parents are still operating under the misinformation that drinking is a stage that all adolescents pass through," Miller said. "Alcohol is a drug with very serious consequences."

Miller, a family counselor, said drivers under 21 have the highest rate of alcohol-related fatal accidents, and 46 percent of teen suicides occur while the teen-ager is drunk.

She said parents should take a firm stand on drugs and alcohol and set stiff penalties. She said parents should become more informed and active, and should make sure that parties children attend are well-supervised.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the planning groups should call Rodney Calver at 263-9120.

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