Harford drug control program tops state in clients served

Served 23,517 participants among Maryland's 24 jurisdictions

May 27, 2011|By Aegis staff report

Harford County's Office of Drug Control Policy, based on the most recent state figures is successfully serving more clients than any similar local office in Maryland, the county government announced last week.

As a result, Harford County Executive David R. Craig recently congratulated the staff of the Office of Drug Control Policy for its statewide recognition in substance abuse prevention programs.

According to the county government, the State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Administration published its annual report for fiscal year 2010 (July 1, 2009-June 30, 3010) and, based on the agency's Prevention Program Activity Report, the Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy served the greatest number of participants, 23,517, among the 24 jurisdictions in Maryland. Baltimore City was second with 23,245, and Baltimore County was third with 23,134.

The Harford County office served the most clients in the state during the period covered in the report and Craig wanted to recognize the staff for its work, Bob Thomas, spokesman for the county government, told The Aegis Thursday.

The information in the ADAA's Prevention Program Activity Report showed a jurisdictional breakdown of individuals served in recurring prevention programs and those who successfully completed the program.

"On behalf of the people of Harford County I want to recognize the staff of the Office of Drug Control Policy for their outstanding performance," Craig said in a press release. "Despite having half the staff and resources of Baltimore City and Baltimore County, [office director] Joe Ryan and the dedicated members of his team continue their commitment to citizens of Harford County who are struggling with substance abuse issues."

All strategies and service types reported in the ADAA Prevention Program Activity Report by each individual program are based on the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention's six primary prevention strategies: alternatives, community based process, education, environmental, information dissemination and problem ID and referral.

May is recognized as National Drug Court Month and, as such, the Office of Drug Control Policy wishes to make the public aware of the array of services available to Harford County citizens, Thomas said.

The county has five drug courts, including three in District Court: DUI to address drunk driving issues; Adult Drug Court to address first time drug violators; and Mental Health Court to address adults with a mental health issue who commit minor crimes.

Two drug courts operate in the Circuit Court: Juvenile Drug Court and Family Drug Court. Juvenile Drug Court deals with youth younger than 18 with major addiction problems. Family Drug Court deals with adult drug and alcohol abusers who have had their children removed from the home; if the parents abstain from drug use, the Department of Social Services will return the children to the parent.

More than 150 clients are served in all of the above drug court programs. Each program takes eight to 12 months to complete. For more information on Harford County Drug Courts, contact 410-638-3333.

According to the county government, the Office of Drug Control Policy works in partnership with public and private treatment providers in the drug court programs: TRW and Associates (DUI Court), Emmorton Psych (Family Drug Court), Harford County Health Department (Adult Drug Court), the Juvenile Drug Court team, and the Department of Juvenile Services.

For more information about the Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy, visit http://www.harfordcountymd.gov/services/drugcontrol or call 410-638-3333.

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