Program seeks volunteers

William Thompson

Susan Lease, project director for the Quay County Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention coalition, is looking for volunteers to serve on the program’s steering committee. Lease said the steering committee will work closely with her in the decision making process.

“Although the steering committee members do not actually decide which programs will be implemented, they do have a lot of input. I will be listening to their suggestions as to what programs might work best in Quay County.” Currently, the ASAP coalition is operating under government-funded programs dealing with tobacco use prevention and alcohol and drug abuse prevention. Lease has already recruited youth at Quay County schools to help educate all students about prevention strategies. “I will be training the students as peer educators,” said Lease. “They will be giving presentations to their classmates. I need at least five adult steering committee members to help me decide what kind of new programs we can put into effect, and I can arrange all kinds of training for the committee members in all areas of substance abuse prevention.”

The ASAP coalition’s office at 109 E. Main Street has a New Mexico Regional Alcohol and Drug Abuse Resource Center for students, educators or anyone wanting to know more about prevention. “We have four computers here for people who want to get on the Internet and research prevention topics,” said Lease. “We have about a dozen people per month coming in and using our research tools, and if anyone has a substance abuse problem they can come in and I will refer them to an agency or group that can help them.”

Claude Peterson, the program’s former project director, said the program’s efforts have been shown to decrease drug abuse. “Studies have shown that the program’s methods of attacking substance abuse on a variety of fronts really works,” said Peterson. “The program not only educates and addresses the underlying problems of substance abuse, it also works on environmental policies dealing with drug and alcohol availability. For instance, we work on such things as making sure that cashiers are asking for identification when people try to purchase alcohol or tobacco.”

Lease has been handling most of the program’s responsibilities herself. “I’ve got so much to do and so many projects,” she said. “I really need volunteers who can help out. They will have the satisfaction of knowing that they are helping to lower drug and alcohol abuse in Quay County.” Anyone wishing to volunteer can call 461-4922.