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10-19-05 · 01-03-06 · 03-17-06 · 07-27-06 · 06-27-06 · 10-30-06 · 11-30-06

Sampson County Meth Task Force
Meeting July 27, 2006

The Sampson County Meth Task Force met on July 27, 2006 at Sampson Community College in the Warren Student Center Boardroom.

Chair, J.W. Simmons, called the meeting to order at 8:30 am.

Present: J.W. Simmons; Amber Cava; Ken Jones; Dennis Newton; Brenda Fisher; DeLeon Wilks; Daphne Green; Andy Sturdy; Gregory Jackson; Dail Eason; Kellie Eason; Stewart Hobbs; Mary Margaret Hobbs; and Janet Rosenberger

The minutes from the June 27, 2006 meeting were approved by the group.


J.W. stated that the Spanish handouts have been completed by Star Telephone with John Wengert’s assistance. The Task Force members need to take some to distribute, especially in heavily Hispanic populated areas. He informed the Task Force that there have been several men’s groups spoken to about Meth. Dennis Newton added that the Faith Based groups need to put their ‘heart, hands, habits, and heads’ into the effort of informing the public about the Meth problem. A presentation was made to the men’s group at Cory Oliver’s church followed by questions and answers.

Andy Sturdy mentioned grants that could possibly be used to fund the Task Force efforts.

J.W. informed everyone that Brenda Fisher is now able to do counseling at her building.

DeLeon Wilkes distributed a handout for the Sampson County Middle School project and it was discussed. Becky Jackson and others have worked together on this project called “Ninth Block Guidance Program”. Ken Jones informed them that there are block grants that may be requested to be used for this type of project. DeLeon added that they have one shot to purchase the curriculum. This is an opportunity to start with this program and they can possibly purchase a different one next time. He and Becky will be monitoring the progress and giving us feedback.

Stewart Hobbs stated that Becky Jackson is very excited about this project. They feel like the dropout rate is connected to drug abuse. This program will give the 9 th graders 3 weeks of intense drug awareness. This is all tied into reading, writing and wellness. A lot of times students are suspended with no guidance. Parents will talk to the school and they’re sometimes advised to take their child for Mental Health treatment but, they don’t want to take them for fear of being seen. DeLeon pointed out that they are training counselors on how to do drug screenings. For instance, if parents suspect their child is using drugs, the counselor can teach them how to administer the drug tests themselves. The school could provide those tests and it would be strictly confidential. They wouldn’t be required to provide the results back to the counselors. They could counsel the parents on options for positive results and how to handle that situation if needed.

Stewart Hobbs ran this idea by their attorney who advised them that, as long as it’s voluntary, there would be no problem. J.W. said that the Task Force was on record supporting drug testing in the work place and schools. Mary Margaret Hobbs informed them that they should be prepared for a lot of controversy and negativity from parents as well as the children. Brenda Fisher has had 10 years of experience in drug testing and will be starting them at her practice. She’d like to have assistance in grant writing for funding to work with teens and substance abuse. Ken Jones stated that if there’s an intervention process, we need to look at funding for that.

J.W. listed the process as follows: The person would get the drug test from school, take it home and administer the test. They would possibly come back to the counselor and inform them that it was a positive test. If the person can’t fund treatment, Ken Jones said they can help with funds. DeLeon thanked Stewart Hobbs for stepping forward with his support.

Stewart said that 6 school nurses will be involved and they plan to start this year. Some parents will seek help but some are in denial. The schools won’t make it mandatory but, strictly on a voluntary basis. We need to be ready to offer help if they do come back with positive results. We won’t know about all of the results either. If it means one child stays in school, he feels the fight is worth it. Block grants are for education but, this is all part of the process. Mary Margaret added that this type of assistance will filter down in the achievement area.

DeLeon said the program is still in the planning stages. He will be going to the City Schools with this idea soon. He wanted to see what the interest from the Task Force would be. Ken commended the Task Force for coming together and working on this. The Division of Mental Health will support the initiative in the schools.

Gary feels that students knowing that the schools are offering drug testing for parents to acquire will be a deterrent to them using drugs. Dennis Newton stated that parents need to know they can get assistance for the problem.

J.W. added that educating the children will also help them in recognizing if parents are abusing drugs. Dail Eason further stated that the money would be well spent on the drug kits. If parents don’t have the opportunity to assist their child early, an 18 year old won’t seek help later. J.W. reiterated that an adult drug abuser seeking help would find only minimal assistance. The best chance they have is parent intervention. The adults usually stop when they become incarcerated.

Daphne Green has found that the parents they deal with won’t pay for drug testing. This program would be very beneficial in that respect. Amber Cava suggested that possibly some literature explaining to parents how to talk with their child if they do test positive would be helpful. If they were embarrassed to seek advice at that point, the literature would be available with the kit. DeLeon agreed that surrounding the tests with information is a good idea, especially supportive literature.

Dennis Newton made a motion that we proceed with this program. Ken Jones seconded the motion with unanimous support by the Task Force.

Stewart Hobbs mentioned that the counselors may be calling on some of the Task Force to speak to the children for the parents. DeLeon would like for us to call him with any ideas. Kellie Eason stated that they’d busted 2 Meth labs back-to-back. She loves the idea of educating the children. They are still addressing the problem of the purchase of pseudoephedrine. The Task Force is having a positive impact on drug abuse. The young people seem to get more out of videos and the fear of parents is a good motive. Dale Eason added that the middle school is a good area to work with. He feels that the drug kit should be displayed so children will know what’s involved.

Deleon thanked Ken Jones for Eastpointe’s funding for this endeavor.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 am