Coalition reviews year, upcoming plans for 2018

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DAINGERFIELD -- As it did during the school year, the Northeast Texas Coalition Against Substance Abuse met June 7. NETCASA Director Rebecca Smith began by sharing information from the recently completed Community Needs Assessment, which typically tells the coalition the most pressing issues for their region or area. According to the assessment, the five counties served directly by NETCASA (Bowie, Morris, Cass, Franklin, and Titus) all showed a higher percentage of people in poverty situations than the state as a whole. The five counties also higher violent crime rates than the state. Morris County has a higher drug and alcohol arrest rates than the state, according to the assessment. According to the data presented, current alcohol usage among area high school students has dropped since the coalition began working with the schools in 2015. Smith also informed the group that funds have been provided by the state for prevention, specifically for opioid abuse prevention. According to the data, NETCASA’s Region 4 had the highest reported current usage of prescription drugs. In addition, Cass County had the highest percentage of opioid claims. Smith said that data leads to Cass County being a prime location for the use of those funds on a drop box for disposal of prescription drugs. The group also discussed an upcoming hearing regarding alcohol sales near a Daingerfield School.

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