Posted Tuesday, October 1st, 2019
Board Calls Attention to Great Work Done by County Municipal Alliances for Young Residents
The Morris County Board of Freeholders has proclaimed October as National Substance Use Prevention Month in Stigma-Free Morris County, especially encouraging young people to seek help for substance use disorders.
In making the proclamation, the county governing board is highlighting the positive efforts being made by the Municipal Alliance Network in Morris County, which is on the front line of dealing with substance use by our young residents.
Whether it be underage drinking, alcohol dependency, vaping, use of prescription drugs, opioids, or illicit drug use, municipal Alliance teams are working to help create prevention strategies that target the root of dependency problems and help our young people lead healthier lives
In Stigma-Free Morris County, there are 28 Municipal Alliances, representing 33 of Morris County’s 39 municipalities; and these grassroots organizations are comprised mainly of dedicated volunteers.
“These people are working hard to make a difference to families here in our county, to help deal with root causes of substance use and to try and lead persons with addictions to centers and programs where they can find help,’’ said Freeholder Director Doug Cabana.
The freeholders, in announcing the proclamation at their Sept. 25 meeting, specifically highlighted work done by Alliance teams in the Chathams and Wharton, with Kelly Loofbourrow of the Chatham Borough and Chatham Township Alliance and Robin Ghebreal of the Wharton Alliance thanked for their efforts.
“We do so many programs in our towns to help our community as far as substance abuse and bullying and social media abuse, and suicide prevention and so many things We are so grateful to be available to our community as a resource,’’ said Wharton’s Ghebreal.
“The funds that we get that go specifically to Challenge Day that we have at our high school and our middle school really forces the kids to not only be tolerant but to be compassionate and empathetic to others’ differences,” said the Chathams’ Loofbourrow.
Whereas, millions of young Americans, including those from Morris County, suffer from substance use disorders, which include underage drinking, alcohol dependency, non-medical use of prescription drugs, abuse of over-the-counter medications, and illicit drug use.
Whereas, young Americans aged 12 to 20 account for 11 percent of the country’s monthly alcohol consumption and approximately 23 million people aged 12 or older annually use illicit drugs, plus we are in the midst of an opioid epidemic; and
Whereas, prevention strategies targeting the root of these dependency problems are essential to curb drug use and help our young people lead healthier lives, and early intervention can prevent substance abuse and reduce the negative consequences of addiction before they occur; and
Whereas, the Municipal Alliance network here in Morris County and across our state provides a community-based effort that involves youths, parents, educators, concerned citizens, and government officers who work to strengthen the support systems that can help keep our young residents away from drug consumption and also improve their academic performances and workforce readiness; and
Whereas, in Morris County, there are currently 28 Municipal Alliances, representing 33 of Morris County’s 39 municipalities; and these grassroots organizations, comprised mainly of volunteers, assess needs, set priorities, develop plans and implement programs which form the foundation of Morris County’s substance abuse prevention activities; and
Whereas, in Stigma-Free Morris County, we foster an environment where young people are free from judgment and are offered the help they need to recover from their dependencies, without feelings of shame, embarrassment, distress, or hopelessness, and they are encouraged to seek or accept help so they can lead productive lives;
Now, Therefore, I, Douglas R. Cabana, Director of the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders, thank the hundreds of volunteers of our County’s Municipal Alliance network for their dedication and perseverance, and recognize them for their contributions to the community, as I proclaim October 2019, as National Substance Use Prevention Month here in Morris County.