Ticonderoga A coalition seeking to address drug abuse issues in Ticonderoga wants to extend its reach.
The group, which met for the first time in June, is asking concerned citizens to attend a meeting Tuesday, July 9, at 6 p.m. at the Community Building.
“Ticonderoga has a history of rising to challenges that impact the well-being of our community,” Ticonderoga Supervisor Deb Malaney said. “Most recently, I have asked Chief (Police Chief Mark) Johns to open discussion and share our concerns with community groups and town council members over the growing threat of substance abuse problems in Ticonderoga. This problem seriously affects the quality of life and the health and safety of all of our residents and businesses, as well as contributing to our town law enforcement expenses.
“We are extending an invitation to people to join a new coalition of residents and community partners who will be working together to prevent and reduce substance abuse in Ticonderoga,” she said. “The first task is to build a strong coalition that includes all sectors of the community, including concerned citizens, local government, schools, churches, law enforcement, business, health, treatment and prevention agencies, parents, including grandparents and foster parents, the media, clubs, youth and youth-serving organizations.”
Malaney said the coalition will work to assess the substance abuse challenges in Ti, inventory community strengths and resources, develop a plan of action with targeted goals, and work to implement the plan.
Ti-based Prevention Team, a non-profit agency that provides alcohol, tobacco and other drug education and prevention services for Essex County, is assisting the effort.
“Communities across the nation have built Drug Free Community Coalitions and have made real progress in preventing substance abuse on the local level,” Malaney said.
Johns said more than 40 percent of the arrests by Ticonderoga police can be attributed to an underlying substance abuse problem.