ASAP group continues good fight

Published 9:00 am Friday, September 8, 2017

Clark County’s Agency for Substance Abuse Policy (ASAP) organization is working diligently and relentlessly to develop a strategy to combat what sometimes feels like an unstoppable foe: drug addiction.

ASAP is creating a five-year plan to address drug addiction in the community. The group is about four months into the process, which may take the rest of the year to complete and finalize.

The plan will focus on four priorities: prevention, overdose intervention, reducing access or inappropriate prescriptions, and early intervention, treatment and services.

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It has been a group effort so far and that approach will be needed moving forward. A recent strategic plan meeting included representatives from law enforcement, government, health care and mental health care professionals.

The entire approach was an outgrowth of the community health assessment, which was finalized in December. Having a formal plan in place is expected to help with funding opportunities when it comes to grants and creating other programs.

This is a worthy project because it places the focus squarely on tangible solutions to address a public health crisis that has reached epidemic proportions here in Clark County and across the country.

These priorities are critical to help stem the tide of addiction that we have seen is often generational, which makes education even more important than ever because many of the individuals who are abusing drugs do not know any other lifestyle.

We hope the group also takes time to consider the employment component that will be needed to help individuals trapped in a cycle of addiction break free. Many drug abusers cannot find good jobs because their addiction, so they turn to crime and fall back into the same vicious cycle.

We have said many times that addressing the drug problems plaguing our community will take a united assault from many sides. This is another positive step in the right direction.

Although some may call it hyperbole, the reality is the fight against drug abuse Is truly  a battle for the fate of our community.