Governor pledges support for strong budget to fight addiction and drug abuse
Governor Ted Kulongoski and his Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs honored an individual and four organizations Tuesday, including the entire student body of the Hood River Valley High School, for their exemplary work against addiction and drug abuse.
In a ceremony at the state Capitol, the Governor recognized the award recipients and pledged to seek funding to expand the state’s efforts to fight addiction and substance abuse. As part of that effort His budget for the 2007-09 biennium proposes dedicating 2 percent of the state’s total gross liquor revenues, approximately $17 million, to targeted intervention and treatment services.
“Oregon can be proud of these honorees, and the thousands of others in every part of the state who fight the scourges of alcoholism and addiction,” the Governor said. “We intend to support them with new resources for proven prevention and treatment techniques. Fighting substance abuse and addiction is one of the foundations for creating the opportunity for a better life for all Oregon children and families.”
The Governor lauded the efforts of Rick Treleaven, a licensed clinical social worker in Jefferson County, and presented him the Thomas R. Dargan Award, named for the Oregon business executive who served as the first chair of the Governor’s Council. Treleaven is executive director of BestCare Treatment Services, which delivers community mental health services in Jefferson County. He was instrumental in developing the state’s first residential service for Hispanic clients.
The Governor and the Council also awarded honors to the following organizations:
- Oxford Houses of Oregon, Inc., received the Outstanding Community Achievement Award for its work in delivering peer-to-peer supports in alcohol- and drug-free housing across the state. Oregon has the nation’s highest per-capita number of Oxford Houses, 140 in 15 Oregon counties, which serve more than 1,100 adults and 200 children.
- Hood River Valley High School leadership and students received the Outstanding Youth Community Achievement Award. Since 1993, students have participated in drug-prevention efforts through panels at school assemblies, community round tables, faith-based youth groups, a methamphetamine town hall, victims’ panels and other means. Youth represent nearly half of the county’s prevention coalition members.
- Multnomah Embrace Team received the Clark Campbell Media Award, named for a former deputy director of the Oregon Department of Human Services’ alcohol and drug abuse programs, who continued his work in the field even after retiring. The team, financed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Reclaiming Futures project, helps teens in the juvenile justice system overcome drugs, alcohol and crime and encourages adults to bring a positive influence to youths’ lives. The team has published a book and produced radio spots, posters, bus ads and newspaper features.
- Family Involvement Team received the Outstanding Innovations in Government Achievement Award for, since 2000, improving access to alcohol and drug services for parents involved in child-welfare dependency cases. Working in Multnomah County, the team has reduced average wait time for treatment from 111 days to 17 and serves 150 to 200 families annually. It is a collaboration of Multnomah County Juvenile Court, DHS Child Welfare and the county’s private nonprofit chemical-dependency service providers.
The Governor noted that his budget for the next biennium invests in more treatment for parents who struggle with substance abuse. The budget calls for investing more than $10 million of liquor revenues to provide outpatient drug and alcohol treatment to more than 2,600 families.
The budget also calls for investing $3.0 million of liquor revenues in prevention of substance abuse by youth, providing new tools for communities to fight underage drinking and use of illegal drugs. Finally, the Governor wants to use some of the liquor revenue to expand Oregon’s investment in drug courts by a minimum of $2.0 million, which will enable the state to support at least five new drug courts that focus on reunifying families.
The 13-member Governor’s Council, established in 1985, advises the state on how to prevent and treat addiction to alcohol and other drugs.