Shelby County has law enforcement, the court system, the school districts, social service agencies and substance abuse counseling and treatment doing what they can in their own arenas to help combat drug and alcohol addiction.

ROSC now has a presence in Shelby County, helping to coordinate all those efforts. Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care (ROSC) is trying to pull all the available resources together in Shelby County in a common cause, because the task is great.

ROSC is a coordinated network of community-based services and supports that is person-centered and builds on the strengths and resilience of individuals, families, and communities to achieve abstinence and improved health, wellness, and quality of life for those with or at risk of alcohol and drug problems.

Meeting once a month are Jenna Hayes, the ROSC Coordinator for Shelby County; Mark Bragg, counselor at the CEAD Council; Susie Kensil, from Dove and the Salvation Army; Mindy Mars of the Salvation Army; and the Rev. Don Jefferies, pastor of First Assembly of God. Joining them are other members of social service agencies and individuals who have successful recovered.

The meetings are from 3:30-4:30 p.m. at the CEAD Council Office on the third Thursday of the month. As of yet, no one from law enforcement agencies or from the Shelbyville School District have attended.

One question that Shelby County ROSC is contemplating is what the role of law enforcement would be or how does Shelby County ROSC see law enforcement being able to help.

“In Coles County, the sheriff’s office is allowing recovery services in the jail,” said Hayes. “In Effingham, they have a new police chief and that has made a big difference. The school resource officer attended our Recovery Picnic.

“In Cumberland County the judge comes to every meeting and the state attorney. Their officers went through NARCAN training. Douglas County is taking steps against the opioid crisis. In Shelby County you have to decide what you want the role to be.”

The police chief of Neoga, Andy Schabbing, is integrally involved with the ROSC Council.

“We are grateful for law enforcement that understands the need to reform the way we handle addiction and offer a hand of help instead of only hand cuffs,” Hayes said.

“Schabbing helps not only punish, but also helps educate and helps treat addicts and alcoholics in Cumberland County,” Hayes said

“I have a friend who has dealt with opioid addiction and he is doing really well, now,” Schabbing said. “Hearing the stories of how they got started and got addicted is something we need to pay attention to. They may not be someone who has been taking drugs their whole life. There is always a story it.”

Shelby County has Drug Court and other sentencing options and probation that are able to direct an offender to treatment once they are in the system.

But other than that, the question for ROSC and the law enforcement community remains, how can law enforcement partner in this effort?

John Curtis can be reached at john.curtis@shelbyvilledailyunion.com

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