Resolution of Support · Strategic
Plan · Sampson County
Response Protocol · Board Minutes · Committee
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 October 19, 2005
The Sampson County Meth Task Force met on October 19, 2005 at
Sampson Community College in the Warren Student Center Boardroom.
Chair, J.W. Simmons, called the meeting to order at 8:30 am.
Present: Amber Cava; John Wengert; Chris Hatcher; Paul Jensen;
Wes Meyers; Dail Eason; Teresa Underwood; Brenda Fisher; Stewart
Hobbs; Pat Dixon; Ron Lessard; Ronald Bass; Sarah Bradshaw; Renee’ White;
Jimmy Thornton; Trooper R.S. Smith; Mary Margaret Hobbs; Geraldine
Shipp; and Lucinda Honeycutt.
J.W. Simmons asked everyone to introduce themselves. He noted
that Sarah Bradshaw and Mary Margaret Hobbs were both instrumental
in the protocol development for removing children from Meth homes.
The minutes from the August 24, 2005 meeting were approved by
the group with a motion from John Wengert and seconded by Sarah
J.W. commended the group on all their efforts on the Task Force
because they do make a difference.
Business Symposium: Sarah Bradshaw informed
the group that the subcommittee met on Thursday, September 22,
2005, to start plans for the symposium for area Meth awareness.
They are looking at several dates in January 2006 to be held at
Prestage Hall at the Agri-Expo Center. After much discussion, they
decided that they could plan for this to be an all day event instead
of ending at noon as originally discussed. The plan includes contacting
Roy Cooper’s office with the facility availability dates
and coordinating with his office and building the plans around
dates he can participate. Jason Grellner, who is a speaker from
the Franklin County Missouri Sheriff’s Department, will be
asked to come. Chris Hatcher will also have Jenny Wood contact
Worth Bolton to speak. Chris added that Mr. Bolton formerly worked
in Wilmington as a substance abuse counselor and presently teaches
Social Work at UNC Chapel Hill. The subcommittee will be meeting
again to continue plans and decide on what strategic target group
will be invited to the symposium and they’ll work through
Amber Cava at the Chamber of Commerce. J.W. asked if there was
a motion to stand behind this activity. Sarah Bradshaw made a motion
for approval. John Wengert seconded the motion with agreement from
the entire group. Mr. Wengert stated that it is a major undertaking
and Sarah Boyer with Star Telephone can help with the mail outs
Amber Cava stated that the price for rental of Prestage Hall would
be less than $350. Fees would be extra for use of audio visual
equipment and the kitchen. John Wengert stated that Star Telephone
will cover the cost up to $500. Pat Dixon added that he would be
glad to make radio announcements about the symposium when the plans
Faith Based Community Efforts:
Paul Jensen representing Dennis Newton stated that the efforts
of volunteers are as follows:
- They’re praying for the Meth Task Force
- They’ll listen to addicts and go to them and try
to help them.
- Minister to Families
- Seek the addicts and help those who want to be helped.
A list of churches/individuals in the area willing to help was
distributed to the Task Force.
Sarah Bradshaw confirmed that church contact is an excellent way
to reel in the youth and get help for them. Adults realize they
are going to lose their families or jobs due to their addictions.
Shannon Smith made a motion to support the Faith Based efforts.
Wes Meyers seconded this motion.
J.W. added the following: Chris Rayner, Sampson County IT Director,
is maintaining the website for us now. The testimonial portion
of the website can be used anonymously. The Task Force was advised
that they could place information in that section adding statements
advising the public about the anonymity of the site and our need
for their stories to be told in relation to Meth and the impact
it has on their lives. He asked that the Task Force continue to
inform groups/contacts about the website.
Other Discussion: Trooper Shannon Smith with
the NCHP posed a question to Sheriff Thornton with regards to whether
the DARE program could be used to educate kids about Meth. Jimmy
Thornton responded that they need to touch all schools and, as
serious as the problem is now, it needs to be taught in the middle
schools. Wal-Mart has given donations to do drug awareness education
but at this point, they’ve not developed a plan. The juvenile
court system conducts drug testing and is finding that the large
majority of the “below 16” age group is testing positive
for Meth. J.W. added that he has talked to principals and there
has been discussion regarding developing coursework on addiction
and drug abuse as a credit for kindergarten through 12 th grade.
Stewart Hobbs informed the group that they would have to start
developing this type of program. A Wellness Policy has to be implemented
and a curriculum would have to be approved through the state. J.W.
added that he could contact Roy Cooper’s office and see if
they could also look at this as a possibility for the entire state.
He asked if there could be a motion made to look at efforts to
include substance abuse education in the school system curriculum.
Pat Dixon made a motion with a second by Shannon Smith.
Employee Drug Testing: J.W. stated that, as
a Task Force, we could recommend drug testing for employees in
the area. This epidemic crosses all social and economical boundaries.
Employers need to be made aware that there is a major drug problem
out there. Chris Hatcher asked what the route would be if an employee
tested positive for drugs. Would you fire them or get them help?
With Mental Health Reform, they can only assist people with severe
drug problems. Brenda Fisher added that some major corporations
do have programs that send their staff for necessary help. There
has to be a commitment on the part of the addict to the treatment
program in order to have successful results and they must be willing
to make life changes. If employers do assist with supporting staff
that have addictions, they need to make the treatment mandatory.
Treatment involves a lot of support from family, friends, Faith
Based groups, etc.
John Wengert exclaimed that Star Telephone has a written policy
for staff that is addicted. If the employee admits they have a
problem after testing positive for drugs, the company supports
them with assistance to obtain treatments. If they do not admit
they have a problem after they’ve tested positively, they
are fired. Sarah Bradshaw added that the county government is presently
developing an Employee Assistance Program. Mr. Sauer has requested
that personnel policies for the county be rewritten to include
drug testing for employees.
Chris Hatcher stated that this disease doesn’t have a great
success rate of recovery. The recovering addict has to change his “playmates” and “playground” in
order to succeed and kick the habit and most aren’t willing
to do that. John Wengert made a motion for the Task Force to back
efforts and work toward drug testing for employees to be implemented
in area businesses pursuant to legal issues involved. Brenda Fisher
and Ronald Bass seconded the motion.
J.W. added that law enforcement still plays a big part in addicts
seeking treatment because, when they are arrested, this prompts
them to make a change. Ms. Fisher suggested Dominion Diagnostics
as a possible source for someone to speak on how drug testing is
conducted. Wes Meyers stated that drug users are very tricky and
testing has to be observed.
Intervention Initiatives/Rehab Efforts: Chris
Hatcher stated that Jack St. Clair met recently with Resources
for Human Development. They are looking at locating a treatment
center at Thompson Homes in Garland. The plan is for this facility
to be directed toward women who need treatment because of Child
Protective Services involvement or if they are receiving Work First.
This is in the planning stages only. Since the state would be paying
for these services, they have to approve licenses and set regulations.
Mary Margaret Hobbs informed the group about Mental Health funds
that will be accessed effective January 2006 for a Clinical Social
Worker position to the Services staff at DSS. Chris added that
the state has suggested merging Eastpointe with several other counties
to save money on administrative costs. J.W. mentioned that incarceration
is costing the state more money in comparison to what rehabilitation
costs would be.
J.W. asked for volunteers to work on the Meth Task Force Mission
Statement. Sarah Bradshaw stated that she would speak to Sherry
Matthews about helping with this. J.W., Sarah, Amber and John Wengert
will take on this assignment.
J.W. ended with the following: As pseudoephedrine is restricted
from sales, the large manufacturers of Meth are becoming more resourceful.
They now have a liquid Meth that is clear in color and being brought
in from super labs from Mexico and California. It is being bottled
to appear as other things (i.e. in liquor bottles) and has shown
up in Tennessee and Kentucky. It can be transported across the
border with no problem due to the packaging. Meth is destroying
the country. The Task Force needs to track what we’ve been
doing so everyone will be aware of the progress we’ve made. “NEVER
GIVE UP THE FIGHT!”
The meeting was adjourned at 10:10 am.