In December, the number of calls to the UNITE Drug Tipline increased 30 percent, and drug court fines, restitution and court costs recovered increased 37 percent, according to Operation UNITE’s monthly update on efforts to combat substance abuse in its 32-county service area.
“That’s why we have a multi-pronged approach,” said UNITE President/CEO Nancy Hale. “We must attack the drug epidemic from all sides – investigations, treatment and education – to rid our communities of this terrible problem.”
Highlights from December include:
53 tipline calls were received with 21,774 calls received since inception. People can report suspected drug activity toll-free by calling 1-866-424-4382.
- During December, there were 495 active participants in drug courts within the UNITE service area. Of those, 328 were employed and 109 were pursuing education.
- The courts collected $8,304 in fines, restitution and court costs, along with $2,946 in child support in December. Since inception those totals are $1.39 million and $21,335, respectively.
- There were 7,105 hours of community service completed in December.
- 19 people entered treatment in December using a UNITE Treatment Voucher.
- Since inception, 4,144 have entered treatment.
UNITE and its coalitions held a total of 135 activities in December, including:
- Wayne County renewed its emphasis on the Give Me a Reason campaign, which included newspaper coverage. As a result, 31 drug-testing kits were distributed. The coalition also used radio and newspaper ads to reach the public with information about UNITE’s tipline and treatment line.
- In Harlan County, there were 80 graduates of the Appalachian ChalleNGe Academy, a program that works with 16- to 18-year-olds to equip them with the values, life skills, education and self-discipline necessary to succeed as productive citizens.
- The Breathitt County Coalition provided educational materials at the Downtown Christmas Community Celebration in Jackson.