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Third Judicial District Drug Task Force open to new members

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

TRINIDAD, Colo. – Residents of Colorado’s Third Judicial District (Huerfano and Las Animas counties) interested in helping address the growing problem of opioid- and heroin-related crimes and deaths in the district are welcome to participate in an ongoing effort to address substance abuse problems in the area.

Since its first meeting in June 2015, subcommittees of the Drug Task Force met 11 times to identify goals and discuss solutions. Several goals have been met, including development of a school-based life-skills curriculum, obtaining a grant for local drug/alcohol prevention programming and establishment of a “sober-living” house.

Created by District Judge Leslie J. Gerbracht and Chief of Probation Martin Malouff, the task force’s membership has included community members, county commissioners, health care providers, faith leaders, law enforcement, treatment providers, school personnel and representatives of the Department of Human Services.

Subcommittees have identified several areas of planning for the task force such as developing a community awareness campaign to help residents become more familiar with drug/alcohol abuse issues and how to identify and address signs of abuse; developing and implementing more youth programs or re-introducing successful youth programs; discussing prescription pain medication abuse with local medical providers and developing strategies to address pain-management efforts that can play into abuse problems; and developing a transitional living program to provide shelter, clothing and food for those in need and affected by addiction.

“Obviously, this is a very complex and serious topic, and the group understands there is no quick solution to addressing the epidemic in our community,” Judge Gerbracht said. “Community awareness, more stability at home, increasing knowledge and availability of services and resources and working closely with interested parties and providers in our community are all areas on which the group plans to focus going forward.”

Residents interested in attending the task force’s monthly meetings are asked to contact Martin Malouff at 719-497-8250.

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