The mission of the Substance Abuse
Council is to reduce the problems associated
with substance abuse in Dubois County in
order to enhance family and community life.
In 1991 CDFJ held a public forum for the purpose of gathering community input to expand the groups focus. The public forum proposed to join forces with all county committees addressing substance related problems in Dubois County. The group voted to officially change the name of the group from Committee for a Drug Free Jasper (CDFJ) to the Dubois County Substance Abuse Task Force (DCSATF). The name change was well received with a new comprehensive county focus. During consideration of a website, the group determined DCSATF was too long. In 2002 the name was reduced to Dubois County Substance Abuse Council (SAC) which was easier to recognize for the general public. SAC created a logo and website in 2003 to help increase awareness.
Dubois County was founded in 1802 near Patoka River. The county is divided into 12 townships, with 2 cities and 3 incorporated towns that maintain their own governing officials. There are 3 elected members on the Board of Commission with legislative and executive authority. In 2010 the estimated population was 41,889, predominantly female, Caucasian, with a high school education. Jasper, in the heart of the area, is the county seat.
The Committee for a Drug-Free Jasper (CDFJ) was officially organized in March of 1990. The committee was organized to address the issues of substance abuse and related problems in Jasper, Indiana. The group made great efforts to expand its reach by involving all the school corporations in Dubois County. The Committee met the second Monday of every month. Three sub-committees were formed to include Treatment/Intervention, Prevention/Education, and Justice. The beginning meetings were devoted to structuring the organization and recruiting members. A Comprehensive Plan was drawn up to identify substance abuse problems with solutions in Dubois County.
SAC and Step Ahead joined forces in 2004 to raise awareness of methamphetamine use in Dubois County. Four flyers in English and Spanish with a focus on addiction and treatment were distributed. Two forums were held for professionals and the public with speakers from law enforcement, treatment providers, and recovering addicts
SAC hired a part-time Coordinator in 2006 to assist grantees, members, and executive council, compile and file data reports, and prepare for monthly meetings. In 2007 and 2008 SAC conducted a community awareness campaign regarding prescription drug abuse. Informational fliers were distributed to doctor offices, non-profit agencies and pharmacies in Dubois County. Informational fliers were also included in the Jasper and Huntingburg utility bills for March. A forum was held in April for the public with speakers from law enforcement, pharmacies, treatment providers, and a recovering addict.
At the beginning of 2008 the method of collecting user fees from offenders was changed. The community fund collection from the automatic bond inclusion is collected at a later date. Funding was reduced for the following year when the changes were reflected on the SAC budget. From 2009 to 2010 the SAC executive members made difficult decisions to fund grants with a reduced budget.
During 2010 a new coordinator was hired for a maximum of 30 hours a month to assist the executive council, members and those applying for a grant. Other responsibilities are to maintain the website, communicate with media, and attend community meetings to represent SAC. Funding for the Dubois County Substance Abuse Council has stabilized. Grants were funded in areas of prevention/education, treatment/intervention, and law enforcement/justice.
In 2011 the executive committee increased to include Chair, Co-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and 7 representatives in law enforcement, education, treatment, senior citizens, judicial, and at-large. Membership includes community people from segments in business, education, faith-base, justice, law enforcement, and the youth in Dubois County. A new website was developed so the coordinator could have more control over content and research statistics to reduce the cost of a webmaster. SAC continues to have support from the Dubois County Commissioners and Council. In 2012 a comprehensive plan with new problem statements, supportive data, goals, bench marks, and objectives was developed.
The SAC coordinator attended 2 Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) meetings to better understand the new forms required by the institute. The SAC assisted Greater Jasper School district in developing a new drug and alcohol policy. Member discussion continues at monthly meetings regarding new drugs found in the community. Dubois County Sheriff Department keeps the council updated on the inmate population and offenses regarding substance abuse. Indiana State Police have been tracking Clandestine (meth) lab seizures disclosing Dubois County seized 11 labs in 2012 and 7 labs in 2011. Members of SAC continue to discuss the new Indiana law requiring smoke-free public places. Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center continues to provide smoking cessation classes for adults. SAC and Dubois County Public Health Partnership are working together to develop an adult survey to assess adult attitudes regarding substance use in our county. The results will be compared to the Indiana Prevention Resource Center teen survey. In 2012 new requirements set in place by ICJI have made it difficult for the coordinator to complete all necessary requirements in only 30 hours each month. The Executive Committee has requested the coordinator document over time spent on SAC activties.