“This is extraordinary,” Reeves said. “We started about 12 years ago, right after the town passed ordinances to permit the sale of alcohol.”
At last count, there have been about 40 new outlets for alcohol to the town.
IMPACT Navarro, an initiative of Drug Prevention Resources Inc., had reason to celebrate Tuesday at its Executive Board Meeting.
Ice cream sundaes and balloons created a celebratory atmosphere, as Alvis Reeves, director, addressed See IMPACT, Page 3
IMPACT Navarro celebrated its many accomplishments over the last 12 years at its Executive Board Meeting Tuesday evening. Alvis Reeves, center, is flanked by Nelia Tovias, chair and Valorie Horn, board member.
Daily Sun photo/ Deanna Kirk
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Reeves stated, and board members agreed, that anytime you increase availability, there’s increase in usage. However, a Texas School Survey on substance abuse done over the last 10 years in Corsicana Independent School District for grades 7-12 indicates that IMPACT Navarro has seen success in its largest school district in the county.
“There’s been a 53 percent decrease in teens who drive after drinking,” Reeves said. “And a 26.5 percent decrease in alcohol usage from all students.
“We are doing very, very well, and we’ve had a lot of partners in this.” Reeves mentioned collaboration with VOICE, Viable Options in Community Endeavors, as a valuable ally in the fight against substance abuse. However, IMPACT does not duplicate the work done by VOICE Inc.
“The NAACP has been a great partner,” Reeves said. “It started the Back to School Rally 11 years ago, in the park in August ... the crowd was kind of skinny back then.”
Thanks to Community National Bank and Trust, which funded the rental of the IOOF Event Center as the location for the Back to School/Stay in School Rally, which has seen steady increase in attendance since moving there. This year, Reeves said there were over 4,500 students and parents who attended the rally.
The Boys & Girls Club of America, and other organizations have also been valued partners with IMPACT in the war against drugs and alcohol. Reeves said even Mickey Hillock, who sells alcohol in his store, helped IMPACT back when it first started by rounding up many of the other alcohol sellers in town. They then held meetings, training with TABC, and dramatically reduced the number of “out of compliance” checks done by TABC on stores. “As a result, teens getting alcohol from stores has decrease 35 percent,” he said. Reeves went on to mention several individuals who contributed, such as Ronny Willis, who helped Reeves meet people since he was new in town; Jerry Ashcraft, who was unable to attend the meeting but sent a huge bouquet of flowers with a card that read, “Thankful to all who have created a safer place for our children.” He also mentioned Trena Weidman, owner of P&S Pharmacy, who was willing to accept a drug collection box at her store for unwanted prescription drugs.
“So far, the box has received 1,300 pounds of prescription drugs, including opiods and other dangerous drugs,” Reeves said. “Opiods are the only thing in our city now that are not diminishing like drugs and alcohol. We need to continue to work on that.” The last major event IMPACT Navarro will host this year is Oct. 28, when the National Take Back Event with the drug enforcement agency will need volunteers to man the collection site.
Whereas once the law was no alcohol sales 1,000 feet from a school, state legislation reduced that distance to 300 feet, and now there is alcohol being sold right across the street from where kids show animals at NCYE.
“The parties have diminished,” he said. “We have learned more about containing pasture parties.”
A statistic sheet compiled from data from the Texas School Survey showed that from 2006 to 2016, the number of students who have used alcohol has gone from 68.7 percent to 50.5. For 12th grade students alone who have used alcohol, the rate went from 82.5 percent to 68.3 percent. Students who have used alcohol in the past 30 days went from 35.9 percent to 14 percent. And 12th grade students who have used alcohol in the past 30 days decreased from 52 percent to 33.1 percent.
“A lot of people have worked hard to make these statistics reality,” Reeves said. “It takes most of the community to make something like this happen. We are here to celebrate what has been accomplished.”
Steve Jessup spoke up to say, “Alvis, we thank you for your leadership.” Becky Vance, president and CEO of Drug Prevention Resources Inc., stated she is a person in long-term recovery, and it is her passion to keep kids from making the same mistakes she made, and to keep families from going through what she put her parents through.
“This community has been very generous for North Texas Giving Day,” Vance said. “On Sept. 14, you may designate the money you give to come back here to IMPACT Navarro. Alvis is at the top of our list. He’s done so well and so has this coalition.”
Vance said we all know that Drug Prevention is much more than “Just Say No,” and DPRI and IMPACT Navarro wants to continue to get the message out to the schools and the parents. She said even though there are many choices for charitable giving on North Texas Giving Day, they have a list of schools and smaller communities who want IMPACT in there.
“This is by far the most vibrant, caring community and coalition,” she said.
———————— dkirk@corsicanadailys un.com
Becky Vance, president/CEO of Drug Prevention Resources Inc., addressed the executive board meeting of IMPACT Navarro Tuesday. She encouraged residents of Navarro County to make their tax deductible charitable gifts on North Texas Giving Day to Drug Prevention Resources, and note it should come back to Navarro County.
Daily Sun photo/Deanna Kirk