POINT PLEASANT — The Point Pleasant Recovery Home, operated by Prestera Center, now has an open bed, and not for lack of a good reason, as discussed at this week’s meeting of the Mason County Prevention Coalition.
“We have one bed open, and that is because we have another graduate,” Rita Darst, director for the recovery home told those at the meeting.
This announcement brought cheers from the board. Darst explained that participants at the home do community service as part of their rehabilitation, and have been working hard lately.
“They are very diligent in their community service,” she said. “We have an elderly neighbor that can’t mow her own grass, so they go over and mow her grass for her.”
Darst discussed how they took the initiative and volunteered to help their neighbor, despite the time that could have been used to work for money.
“They are learning to be a contributing member of society,” she added. “Whereas last year they were sucking society dry.”
Tim White, Regional Prevention Coordinator for Prestera Center was glad for this new opening.
“I love the fact that we have a bed opening because of graduation, not because we had to ask someone to leave,” White said, alluding to the success of the program.
Also discussed were other matters pertaining to the Coalition, including the Loved Ones support group that is facilitated by Robin Jones. The group is holding a new class for those dealing with a family member or loved one who is dealing with substance abuse. The group will resume meeting Sept. 7, beginning a seven-week video and book series called “Baffled by Addiction.” These meetings will take place on Thursdays, at 6 p.m. at Main Street Baptist Church.
“I almost decided to not do it at all. I had five different phone calls in a two-week period from parents asking me for help,” explained Jones.
She said to those parents “I’ve got a lot resources in my office, come by tomorrow and we’ll see what we can do. Not a single one of them showed up.”
She said she was encouraged by an editorial article in the local paper about not being ashamed of a loved one dealing with substance abuse. Because of that, Jones decided to go ahead with the class in September.
Some housekeeping items were also discussed, including financial reports. The state of affairs for the finances are in good order according to those reporting, and a motion was made to adjust the pay of the Coalition’s main employee.
Also reported on were the Synar Inspections, in which stores are tested to see whether they will sell tobacco to minors. Eight inspections took place this past month, and all eight stores passed the test. While tobacco is a significantly less dangerous substance than others, it’s is still considered a substance worth monitoring as its use in minors can lead to other destructive habits later on, according to Richard Sargent, moderator for the meeting.
Discussed by White was training going on in the schools. Prestera is offering “Too Good for Drugs” training in Mason County Schools on Aug. 3 for employees and anyone wanting to learn more about substance abuse and prevention. Also being offered to administrators in the schools is “Drug Trends” training, in order to help them spot drug-related behavior in youth and how to respond appropriately.
“Some kids today are mixing Mucinex-D and Benadryl and getting a cocaine like effect,” he said. “These are things you can find in your home.”
These trainings will alert school staff to know what some of these common substances being abused are.
According to White, funding for this years Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) was not in the state budget. He reported that over the weekend, they worked to rectify this, and will be holding SADD this November. SADD normally affects over 600 students.
The next Coalition meeting will be held at the Mason County Courthouse Annex on Aug. 15 at 4 p.m. and the public is welcome to attend.
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108.