Earlier this summer, the Board of County Commissioners asked Carroll County State’s Attorney Brian DeLeonardo to come back to them with data on their drug abuse prevention efforts.
And on Thursday, Sept. 20, DeLeonardo — along with Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees, Carroll County Health Officer Ed Singer and Carroll County Youth Service Bureau Executive Director Lynn Davis — will discuss what has come out of county funding for Carroll’s drug abuse prevention campaign: Not in Carroll.
“We are going to sort of outline the funding that we’ve received and the different programs that we’ve been able to accomplish, different results we’ve accomplished,” DeLeonardo told the Times this week. “It’s essentially sort of a summary of what all we’ve been doing.”
At the Board of Commissioner’s July 19 meeting, the board approved the State’s Attorney’s Office’s acceptance of a $14,985 Justice Assistance Grant award to further its prevention work through a reboot of the late-’90s educational “Heroin Kills” video, called “Heroin Still Kills,” and an informational video for parents to accompany the Threats in Plain Sight, or TIPS, program that teaches parents how to point out the “not-so-obvious” signs of potential drug use.
But at that meeting, Commissioner Doug Howard, R-District 5, recognized that with the opiate epidemic worsening across the country, it is difficult to assess what success the county could be having in its efforts to battle it.
“I know we’ve had tremendous success,” Howard said at the meeting. “We’ve heard some really good things, but rather than trying to articulate that for your department, why don’t we make sure we just have a good solid response.
“I think in general this notion — because the problem is increasing — that somehow that’s a reflection of the results of the effort we are making, I think we need to be able to address that. It’s really that we are fighting an uphill battle, and it’s going to be an uphill battle until it’s not.”
DeLeonardo said in response that although the matter has been discussed during the budget sessions, he would be happy to do a deeper assessment to talk about the issue of drugs in Carroll County and the effects of drug prevention efforts.
“I will say you can’t look at it in a vacuum,” DeLeonardo said. “You need to look at it regionally, those efforts — obviously it’s not like it’s getting better everywhere and not here. And I also think we’ve been pretty consistent. We’re trying to stunt the growth [of the epidemic].”
The presentation will take place at the 10 a.m. Board of Commissioners meeting at the Carroll County Government Offices this Thursday, Sept. 20, will provide the information requested.
And Commissioner Stephen Wantz, R-District 3, said this week that at its 1 p.m. meeting later in the day, the board will discuss what it believes it wants to pursue further with the funding it has allotted for Not in Carroll for fiscal year 2019.
“Later, Ed Singer will be there to talk about additional funding we provided to them in the fiscal budget to see what direction we are going in with that,” he said Tuesday. “That will be determined by what we hear in the morning.”
As there is no decision listed in the agenda, he said he doubts any decision will be made that day.