The Coalition for a Drug-Free Batesville was awarded a $30,755 Indiana Family and Social Services Administration grant that will be used to implement a noncredit, mandatory alcohol course for Batesville High School and Oldenburg Academy students, coordinator Kim Linkel told members July 29.
Mayoral assistant J.D. Stephens served as the grant writer.
The funding will cover students in all four grades taking the online course this year and freshmen during the next three years. Batesville Community School Corp. superintendent Dr. Jim Roberts noted the grant amount is “significant. About 1,600 students or more will take ... (the course) over the four years. It should give us a lot of information.”
The course, called AlcoholEdu® for High School, was created by EverFi, Washington, D.C. Families may explore it at www.everfi.com, click on Substance Abuse Prevention at the bottom of the home page. Linkel pointed out, “There is a parent component also if parents are interested in participating.”
She added, “We are hoping to get it underway during the first semester.”
Now the group is waiting until mid-September to hear if an application to receive a federal Drug Free Communities grant of $125,000 annually for up to five years is successful. Out of 477 applicants, 150 or fewer coalitions will be funded based on dollars received from the government, according to the coordinator.
That amount of money “can significantly impact a community and coalition,” Linkel says. If awarded here, the dollars would be used for a paid director, speakers, events, logistics, advertising and social marketing.
Debbie Blank can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.
Other Issues • The volunteer Batesville Drug and Alcohol Response Team has been working with one more family facing a substance abuse problem, Batesville Police Chief Stan Holt said. CDFB will reach out to school counselors to let them know of the team's free advice and resources. • Linkel will sit on a panel to report on CDFB work at the all-day Coalition for a Drug-Free Cincinnati Academy Sept. 5 at Great Wolf Lodge, Mason, Ohio. "There will be some great speakers." Linkel was grateful to Batesville Tool & Die for a recent donation and suggested part could be used to send more locals to that conference. • With new laws, "the state has really cracked down" on the sale of synthetic drugs nicknamed K2 and Spice, said Franklin County Sheriff Ken Murphy. "Many places statewide were selling it before it was recognized as a drug. It's really been nipped in the bud." The substances are "more powerful than organic marijuana," reported Ripley County Prosecutor Ric Hertel. "The behavior change is pretty drastic when somebody is using synthetics. Right now the Indiana Department of Toxicology doesn't have the ability to test for it." A sample must be sent to a private lab, which is expensive. • "We're having a resurgence of methamphetamine," the sheriff said. "They're going to buy whatever is available and cheap ... we've got to get to the bottom" of how to treat addictions. He has urged state legislators to institute a law that a person must pass a drug test before drawing welfare.