Capital Area Human Services District hosts forum on substance abuse prevention on Thursday
POSTED: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 4:00am
UPDATED: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 4:04am
Baton Rouge, La — Capital Area Human Services District (CAHSD) will host its annual Public Forum to gather input and ideas from the public throughout its seven parish area concerning substance abuse prevention and treatment. The goal of the Forum is to outline specific community needs so that strategies can be developed to address key issues that will enhance the regional recovery oriented system of care.
The forum will be held on Thursday, June 21, 2012, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Louisiana State Archives located at 3851 Essen Lane in Baton Rouge. This event is open and free to the public.
Substance abuse causes more deaths, illnesses, and disabilities than any other preventable health condition and is viewed as the nation’s number one health problem. In the U.S., one in four deaths is attributed to alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use. Substance abuse strains the healthcare system, burdens the economy, and harms family life and public safety. Adolescents are beginning to use alcohol, tobacco and other drugs at younger ages and young adults are more likely to engage in heavy substance use than all other age groups.
According to the 2012 County Health Rankings Report for Louisiana, the rate of adults reporting smoking is 22 percent (Benchmark-14 percent ), excessive drinking is 15 percent (Benchmark-8 percent ), inadequate social support is 23 percent (Benchmark- 14 percent ), and poor or fair health is 19 percent (Benchmark-10 percent ). The violent crime rate in the state is 676 per 100,000 (Benchmark-73 per 100,000).
The 2010 Caring Communities Youth Survey conducted in Louisiana for grades 6, 8, 10 and 12, showed that in the CAHSD region, the rate of binge drinking ranged 4.5 percent -22.9 percent among students surveyed (highest in grade 12). Twelve percent of students in 12th grade indicated a need for alcohol and/or drug treatment. Students in the 12th grade who reported drinking and driving in the past 30 days was 13.8 percent . Students who reported being suspended from school during the past year ranged 16.7 percent -24.9 percent (highest in grade 8). Among sixth graders, the average age at initiating alcohol use and cigarette smoking was 10.7 years, and smoking marijuana was 11.7 years of age. Students who reported that they did not feel safe at school ranged from 21.3-28.2 percent across the grades.
"We invite citizens, faith-based leaders, youth, parents, those in recovery and those seeking recovery, school leaders, businesses, judges, civic organizations, law enforcement, providers, and government officials to attend the Public Forum to discuss the needs in our communities and join us to find solutions to address issues related to substance abuse," said Jan Kasofsky, Ph.D., CAHSD executive director.
The agenda will include a presentation of CAHSD’s key strategic initiatives and services, public discussion and comments, and an overview of the Office of Behavioral Health’s statewide initiatives. A poster session will provide informational exhibits, and attendees will have an opportunity to dialogue with CAHSD’s behavioral health staff and other community professionals working in addiction recovery.