Henry County getting substance abuse helpline

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NEW CASTLE, Ind. -- Henry County officials and volunteers are working on the final details for a substance abuse helpline.

It’s yet another effort there aimed at fighting addiction problems that have led to more inmates in the jail and more of their kids in foster care.

“We can’t change what’s happened back in the community,” said ARIES volunteer coordinator. “We can’t change the past. But we can do something about the future.”

Part of changing the future, she believes, lies in a new helpline.

ARIES, the local community action program, met this morning to hammer out some of the final details.

“The more people that we can involve, the more people that know realistically how to handle it, how to address it, then the better Henry County will be,” said Veach.

Volunteers will staff the helpline and they’ll have a website pointing to local help.

Veach envisions the website will have the basics for addicts like local resources, numbers for Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous and their meeting dates. But the plans also include resources to help family members dealing with the fallout from their loved ones’ addiction.

“You can’t isolate,” said Veach. “Because if there’s addiction in a family, you’ve got everybody involved one way or the other.”

ARIES already provides drug awareness programs for Henry County students, starting as young as second grade.

“You know some people will say, my kids are too young to understand,” said Veach. “No, kids are smart. They pick up.”

The programs continue for third-graders, fifth-graders, middle school and high school students. The same grant paying for the helpline, will also be used to bridge the gap and provide drug prevention programming to fourth graders too.

Veach says it’s important to reach kids while they’re young.

“When I do assessments with people and so forth here at the jail, I find oftentimes they start in that elementary school age,” said Veach.

ARIES is also funding kits of Naloxone—the overdose reversing drug—for almost every school district in the county.

The helpline, she says is an attempt to reach out to people of all ages.

“We won’t do everything,” said Veach. “We won’t fix everyone. But whatever we can do, will help.”

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