By SHERRY DIGMON
News Staff Writer
When you’re engaged in a war against drugs, you examine various avenues that might offer assistance.
That’s what Judge Jeff White did last week when he invited representatives with the Drug Education Council (DEC) to attend a meeting in Brewton to determine if the Mobile-based agency could assist Escambia County.
Representatives from the county’s adult criminal drug court, Children’s Policy Council, Juvenile Probation Office, Hope Place, and others were in the meeting with Judge White, and DEC’s Emma Perryman and Rosalind Henley.
The Drug Education Council is in its 51st year and covers 12 counties, including Escambia. The council is licensed by the Alabama Department of Mental Health. DEC does not offer treatment, but does offer referral services and education on site and at training sessions at the Mobile office.
“We do prevention education,” Perryman said. “Not just alcohol and drugs, also social ills. We use a love theme. We try to teach people to love themselves as they’re supposed to …
“All our services are free. We share programs and services. We come and lend a hand, and we can be extra hands for you. We’re here not to reinvent the wheel, but to help you.”
White noted a key component to helping a person change is helping them find their value and worth.
Perryman added that society is missing parental involvement – a widespread problem.
“The greatest disconnect seems to be educating parents,” Judge White said. “How do we get parents who are not attuned to the dangers? We need innovative approaches.”
This is likely the first of many sessions with the Drug Education Council as those in attendance expressed an interest in taking advantage of training and education seminars offered by the agency.