Neall Approves More Money For Drug Treatment Center

$9,000 Will Keepfacility Open Until July 1

April 17, 1992|By Elise Armacost | Elise Armacost,Staff writer

County Executive Robert R. Neall yesterday approved a second infusion of emergency money to keep a residential drug treatment center for men in business until July 1.

The county, which gave Samaritan House $15,000 after a round of state budget cuts last fall, is providinganother $9,000 to cover unexpected expenses. The money will be transferred from unused portions of the Health Department's budget.

The Annapolis halfway house is operated by a non-profit organization and provides treatment for about 15 men.

After state funding for Samaritan House and four other county treatment centers was cut inNovember, the county came up with $150,000 to keep them running until June 30, the end of the fiscal year.

Neall announced the transfer at an early morning press conference to introduce Charlestine Fairley, new director of the county's drug and alcohol abuse prevention program. Formerly a program officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Substance Abuse Prevention, Fairley assumed her new job April 1.

Treatment centers such as Samaritan Houseare not supervised by Fairley, who is charged strictly with prevention of substance abuse.

Fairley, who oversees a $423,000 annual budget and a 10-member staff, said yesterday she sees her top priority as implementing a 20-page substance abuse prevention plan drawn up by former drug czar David Almy in November.

The plan includes new school programs, partnerships with civic groups and business workshops, and surveying 2,000 households every month to gauge the county's drugproblem. Results of the drug survey should be ready June 30, Fairleysaid.

Another top project is a drug prevention "summit," to be held early in June at Anne Arundel Community College. Community leaderswill meet with local, state and federal experts to brainstorm strategies for preventing substance abuse, Fairley said.

"What I see as our overall mission is to reduce the risk factors in the community that lead to substance abuse," she said.

Fairley's office uses youthtutorial and mentor programs and seminars in parenting skills to stop drug and alcohol abuse before it starts.

The office also gave out about $60,000 in grants last year for prevention purposes.

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