State officials have released a plan to reduce substance abuse in Nebraska by concentrating on local efforts.
State Director of the Behavioral Health Division Scot Adams says that if Nebraska is to halt substance abuse, Nebraskans need to understand the problem.
“I think a lot of people have strong feelings and anxiety with regard to the words meth or crack or things like that and they think of that as drug abuse,” Adams tells Nebraska Radio Network. “Frankly, Nebraska’s major problem is binge drinking.”
Adams says the strategic plan will provide money to Nebraska’s six behavioral health regions which will coordinate with community coalitions to target the specific problems in those areas.
As an example, Adams points out that the area around the University of Nebraska-Kearney sought to curb underage drinking. He says the community trained every bartender and liquor sales clerk to properly require identification of everyone they served. It worked. Underage drinking declined.
Adams says the most effective programs are very local and very small. They target particular problems.
The Department of Health and Human Services will provide help for regions and communities to devise proper substance abuse programs.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:35]