Barton County’s Special Alcohol Fund money will help keep kids from getting involved with drugs and help those who are trying to get their lives back on track, it was announced at the County Commission meeting Monday morning.
For 2017, $4,350 was available, Barton County Health Director Shelly Schneider said. Grant applications were accepted and there were two requests for funding: Barton County Sheriff’s Office Drug Abuse Resistance Eduction applied for $2,500 and will receive that amount; and Hays-based Dream Inc. for outpatient services applied for $4,000 and will receive $1,850.
“This is a very good thing for us to have,” said Commissioner Kenny Schremmer. “These are both valuable and needed.”
The DARE program, which serves fifth graders in the county, has been around since 1992, Schneider said. Last year, the BCSO served 120 students and it is estimated that between 75 and 100 will be reached this year.
This is a valuable program in that it teaches both resistance techniques and decision-making skills, Schneider said. “It also forms bonds with local law enforcement. It’s truly an investment in our kids.”
Dream Inc, has been around for 24 years, Schneider said. It helps those of all ages coping with drug and alcohol abuse issues.
In its application, Dream noted that it is seeing primarily problems with alcohol, marijuana and methamphetamine. But, Schneider said also noted that “opioid abuse is rising fast.”
Between September 2016 and August 2017, Dream served 112 clients, 87 percent of which come from Barton County. Of those, 42 percent completed the program, compared to a national average of 40 percent.
Barton County solicited applications for the distribution of special alcohol funds which are derived from the 10 percent of gross receipts tax on the sale of liquor in private clubs. They may be expended only for the purchase, establishment, maintenance or expansion of services or programs whose principal purpose is alcoholism and drug abuse prevention and education, alcohol and drug detoxification, intervention in alcohol and drug abuse or treatment of persons who are alcoholics or drug abusers or are in danger of becoming alcoholics or drug abusers.
Schneider said all the applications are reviewed for their impacts on the community.
The fund has been around since 1979.