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COLUMNS

Starting Anew

Phillip Whiteman
Neosho Daily News

January is a particularly tough time of year for many. It’s (usually) cold, dry, and all-around gloomy, depending on which part of the country you live. It’s also a time of financial uncertainty, health issues, and so on. Interestingly, this time of year also brings about “New Year’s resolutions,” a renewed interest in starting anew. Of course, there are many resolutions made, be it tackling those credit cards to losing 50 or more pounds. There is a newer trend in the United States called “Dry January.” Originally from the United Kingdom, Dry January is essentially ditching alcohol in the first month or the new year and has become an annual tradition for many people. For some, it’s part of a New Year’s resolution to drink less, while others claim it’s a way to detox from excessive drinking over the holidays.

I posted a #DryJanuary campaign from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) article on our Coalitions’ Facebook page. According to the article, 86% of participants save money. 70% of participants have better sleep, and 86% have more energy. SAMHSA, and the campaign, urges parents to use it as an opportunity to start an open and honest dialogue with your children about why drinking responsibly is so important for adults and what your expectations are for them when it comes to alcohol and drug use. New Year’s resolutions can be a huge motivator, especially in the first couple of months of the year. Make sure that having frequent conversations about alcohol and other drugs with your children is on your resolution list this year. There are many resources out there, including within the school districts. Many schools have student assistance professionals available to help set children up for success this semester. SAMHSA has a bountiful array of resources on its webpage as well as many others. Talk, They Hear You is also a great one to search for online. The Talk, They Hear You campaign offers several PSA’s and information for parents and juveniles alike. It also provides links to other resources if you need further assistance. There was a popular saying during the tumultuous year of 2020: “We are all in this together.” It’s true, and we are in this together because that’s what decent human beings do, we help each other. If you need help or require finding the proper channels to obtain help, let us know at the information listed below, and we will do what we can to help you!

Newton County Community Coalition Vision: A safe and healthy, drug and alcohol-free, youth community across all of Newton County.

Newton County Community Coalition Mission: We strive to prevent drug and alcohol abuse and other risky behaviors among youth through collaboration, education, empowerment, early-intervention, and community transformation efforts throughout Newton County.

Are you interested in making a difference in Newton County? Come join the Newton County Community Coalition, where we are discussing how the Coalition provides substance abuse prevention strategies with current target areas of youth alcohol use, marijuana use, prescription drug abuse, and tobacco issues.

To get in touch with someone at the Coalition, please contact me or one of our Board members at newtoncountycoalition@gmail.com. Board President: John Ball, Ball-john@kneo.org or Board Vice President: Jeff Higgins, jhigginsatc@gmail.com.

Check out our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/489182691248202.