New focus with Mayor's Substance Abuse Task Force - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

New focus with Mayor's Substance Abuse Task Force


Formally known as the "Mayor's No Meth Task Force," the group has newly been renamed the "Mayor's Substance Abuse Task Force."

Mayor Lloyd Winnecke held a press conference in his office on Monday.

The Task Force is also expanding their mission to engage our community in working together to promote substance abuse awareness, education, treatment, and recovery.

"We built it, initially, based on what we knew our problem was at the time in 2012, and that was meth labs," Mayor Winnecke explained.

Noting a decline meth related problems, the Mayor believes there has now been an evolution in drug use to other substances.

"It's an issue here and probably every city in Indiana, if not in the United States. "We are not immune from it, I don't think our problems are bigger or any smaller than any other cities, but we certainly recognize that we can't turn our heads away from it," Mayor Winnecke stated.

Three primary goals of the Task Force are to help the community acknowledge, understand, and effectively address the problem of substance abuse, promote effective prevention strategies and programs; and help people access treatment and recovery options.

"No one wakes up one day and says, 'you know, I think I'll get addicted to heroin, cocaine, or alcohol, wreck my life, destroy my health, lose my job and die.' That's not a conscious decision. No one makes that choice," Dr. William Wooten said.

The Task Force is bringing speaker Dr. Robert Meyers to Evansville in October to present a training seminar for behavioral health providers and conduct two free public forums for family members or other individuals (Concerned Significant Others) dealing with a loved one with a substance use disorder

As a resource for our community, the Mayor's Substance Abuse Task Force has partnered with instructors and students at the University of Southern Indiana to build a new website. Visitors to the website can find events about substance abuse and wellness throughout the Tri-State, articles and videos on prevention and awareness, and multiple assets and resources for treatment and recovery.

To visit the website, click the following link: Mayor's Substance Abuse Task Force

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