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Strides Made Towards Substance Use Prevention in Tipton County

TIPTON, Ind. - Tipton County has made a giant leap to address the rising need for substance use prevention in it's community. The Tipton County Substance Use and Prevention Council has been formed to ensure the residents of Tipton County have access to the education and resources needed to prevent and/or address substance use. 

The council consists of twenty-one members comprised from fifteen organizations made up of the following: 
 Four County Tipton County Community Corrections
 Tipton County Probation Office Tipton Care Coordination
 IU Health Tipton Hospital Purdue Extension
 QSource Tipton County Sherrif's Office
 Community Howard Boys and Girls Club
 Tri-Central Community Schools  Tipton Community School Corporation
 Tipton County Health Department #Ship Happens
 Domestic Violence Advocate 

The Tipton County Substance Use and Prevention Council is facilitated by Lisa Willis-Gidley, Vice President of Operations at Four County, a community mental health center. Lisa states, "As an agency that serves Tipton County, prevention is key in addressing substance abuse issues in the community. This group will focus on prevention efforts in our youth and adult populations. We are very excited to be at the point where we can start moving towards the goals that we have developed as a committee."

The council will meet on a monthly basis to roll out their goals in an approved community action plan. The plan was developed around three main data points:
Substance abuse in domestic violence cases is near the national average in Tipton County.
Rates of crimes related to substance use are increasing in Tipton County.
Substance abuse is present in the adolescent population in Tipton County.

Data points were collected and supplied by local Tipton County resources which include the Domestic Violence Advocate, police reports, crisis calls, and the National Coalition against Domestic Violence.

"The efforts of the Tipton County Substance Use and Prevention Council have been vital in our community and region by assuring information exchange, robust and open dialogue as well as discerning the best use of scarce resources," states Michael Harlowe, President of Indiana University Health Tipton Hospital. "The ongoing work of this group will assuredly continue to play a role in increasing access to services and improving the health outcomes of the communities we serve."

The council will address substance use and prevention by conducting peer focus groups and family support groups in the community, along with focused efforts on schools and youth programming. Local organizations will receive training on Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT). SBIRT is an evidence-based approach to identifying patients who use alcohol and other drugs at risky levels. The goal of SBIRT is to reduce and prevent related health consequences, disease, accidents and injuries.
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