The Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition is comprised of volunteer members from local organizations and individuals throughout Tuscarawas County. Members hold the common goal of reducing substance use among Tuscarawas County youth. The coalition seeks to create a healthier, drug free community through the implementation of effective prevention strategies. The coalition is committed to providing information and community education, supporting youth led prevention efforts, challenging community norms that might be favorable to youth substance use, decreasing youth access and availability of substances and changing policies that will reduce youth usage of alcohol, tobacco, prescription medication and other drugs.
Rep. Landis Launches Local Drug-Free Initiative
COLUMBUS—Today, State Representative Al Landis (R-Dover), in coordination with Jodi Salvo and the Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition, officially launched the “Got Your Back” Ohio Drug-Free Initiative, which will be promoted across the 98th Ohio House District to encourage students to remain drug free.
In response to the drug epidemic impacting the entire state, Rep. Landis is encouraging students to post a photo to either Facebook or Twitter standing back-to-back with a friend, mentor or family member using the hashtag #GotYourBack. The intent is to highlight the importance of helping and encouraging each other to say no to drugs and to live healthy, drug-free lives.
“I’ve asked myself and I’ve been asked in our community, what can we do? This initiative is designed to get everyone involved that wants to be involved,” Rep. Landis said. “It is geared towards prevention in our schools, but can also be applied to those on the front lines in the battle against addiction. Our doctors, nurses, and first responders deal with the effects every day. It is important for them to know ‘we have their backs’ as well.”
“I am excited about this campaign and encourage parents, youth and community members to get involved,” said Jodi Salvo, Coordinator of the Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition. “It’s as easy as finding a friend, snapping a photo and posting to create a unified community message that together we are committed to keeping each other healthy, safe and drug free.”
Rep. Landis will be posting examples of these photos, along with the hashtag, on his Facebook page (State Representative Al Landis) and Twitter account (@al_landis).
An example photo, which includes Rep. Landis and Jodi Salvo, is attached. For more information, constituents can contact Rep. Landis’ office at Rep98@ohiohouse.gov or (614) 466-8035.
Joe Otte Memorial Fund has been awarded
The first $500.00 grant from the Joe Otte Memorial Fund has been awarded to Personal and Family Counseling Services to be used for treatment and support through the New Philadelphia Municipal Recovery Court, according to Mary Ann Otte, the Founder and Chair of the Memorial Fund and Grant Committee. “This is exciting for our Committee Members and we felt it would be appropriate to make the initial donation to Personal and Family Counseling Services on behalf of the New Philadelphia Municipal Recovery Court. Judge VonAllman has been an extraordinary supporter of treatment for individuals with addictions and we’re very pleased to be able to assist the program”, says Otte. In acknowledging appreciation for the grant, Judge Nanette DeGarmo VonAllman noted, “Alcohol and drug addiction only have two possible outcomes: remission or death. This grant from the Joe Otte Memorial Fund proves that hope exists, even after the tragic and preventable death of a wonderful young man. The sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, mothers and fathers in the Recovery Court program, who are fighting the disease of addiction every day in their own lives, are truly grateful for this generous gift.”
The Memorial Fund was established by Mary Ann Otte in 2013 following the death of her son, Joe, by an accidental heroin overdose. He was 31 years old. The purpose of the fund is to provide financial support for educational events and activities designed to raise awareness about the causes and risks associated with addiction.
According to Pam Trimmer, Executive Director of Personal and Family Counseling Services, their agency has partnered with the specialty docket recovery court to provide treatment and supportive services to the defendants in the Recovery Court Program. “The funds will be used to purchase incentive items for individuals in the program to encourage continued compliance in their recovery process and to reward those taking active steps to maintain sobriety. It has been a pleasure to work with the court and the defendants to move this community and its residents away from addiction and into recovery. It is imperative that we all work together to achieve lasting change and develop healthy families. We would like to thank the Joe Otte Memorial Fund for its contribution towards these efforts”, states Trimmer.
In October, the 1st Annual Joe Otte Memorial Fund dinner was held at Woods Tall Timber Lake Lodge to promote awareness of this fund. The 150 people in attendance enjoyed a gourmet dinner and listened to Amy O’Grady from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office speak about the heroin epidemic. The money raised through generous donations will fund the grant program. Donations are still being accepted and can be made directly to the ADAMHS Board in care of the Joe Otte Memorial Fund, 119 Garland Dr. SW, New Philadelphia, OH, 44663 or on-line by visiting the ADAMHS Board’s website at http://adamhtc.org/joe-otte-memorial-fund/.
The ADAMHS Board is the fiscal agent for the Memorial Fund and works in conjunction with committee members to process funding requests and disburse grants to community agencies for drug prevention and substance abuse intervention efforts. “It has been an honor to be involved in this project from the beginning and watch it evolve into something tangible where community groups and individuals can benefit” according to Dave Schaffer, Executive Director of the ADAMHS Board.
There are no deadlines associated with submitting a funding request and applications are available and may be downloaded by visiting the ADAMHS Board’s website at http://adamhtc.org/joe-otte-memorial-fund/. Otte anticipates making awards available annually to schools and community agencies or programs. Please direct questions about the Memorial Fund to Mary Ann Otte at 330.204.5464
Ohio is making it easier for individuals who are experiencing a stressful situation to find immediate help, 24/7 with the launch of a free, confidential, statewide Crisis Text Line. Starting today, any Ohio resident who needs help coping with a crisis can now text the keyword “4hope” to 741741 to be connected to a crisis counselor. Trained crisis counselors are on stand-by to provide a personal response and information on a range of issues, including: suicidal thoughts, bullying, depression, self-harm, and more. The specialist helps the user stay safe and healthy with effective, secure support. The keyword “4hope” was developed by the Stark County Mental Health and Addiction Recovery (StarkMHAR) board, which piloted a crisis text line for youth and young adults as part of the Strong Families, Safe Communities funding initiative supported by OhioMHAS and the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.