JPHSA Announces New Officers for Esprit de Corps
Esprit de Corps recently elected Candice Dunlap as Chairperson and Joy Lee as Vice Chairperson. Dunlap, a resident of Laplace, is an Accounting Technician in Fiscal Services Management. Lee, a resident of Gretna, is a Social Services Counselor with JeffCare.
JPHSA Welcomes New Board Member
Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority welcomes R. Bruce Galbraith to its Board of Directors. Galbraith, a resident of Metairie, is a facilitator for Victim-Offender Dialogue through the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections. He is also a member of the American Psychotherapy Association and the former President of the Louisiana Counseling Association and the Louisiana Association of Addiction and Offender Counseling.
JPHSA’s Substance Abuse Prevention Program Battles Underage Drinking & Drug Abuse
With one of the most innovative and successful Partnership for Success (PFS) programs in the state, Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority (JPHSA) is widely recognized as a leader in alcohol and substance abuse prevention. JPHSA, as a grantee of PFS, a program developed by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, seeks to address underage drinking and prescription drug abuse among young people. JPHSA teamed with the Jefferson Sheriff Parish’s Office (JPSO) in the past year to achieve these goals.
Substance abuse often begins as early as 10-12 years old. In a recent study, 50.5% of Jefferson Parish sixth graders reported receiving alcohol from home with parental permission.
“Underage drinking is a community problem that requires a community solution. Our approach is multi-tiered,” said Jennifer Phillips, Assistant Director of Behavioral Health Community Services at JPHSA. “We bring the beer goggle drunkenness simulators into the schools and talk to students about early alcohol use and make them aware of its impact on long-term brain function and their relationships. We don’t want them to predispose themselves to addiction. And we also are committed to supporting the enforcement angle as well.”
Since a recent study found many young people in Jefferson Parish purchase alcohol for themselves in a store alone without a fake ID or adult, teamwork with Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office (JPSO) played a key role in JPHSA’s initiative. Sheriff Newell Normand worked diligently to address the underage drinking problem for years. Over the past year, JPHSA joined JPSO’s efforts by supporting alcohol compliance checks. In addition, JPSO, JPHSA, and others promoted updates to the Alcohol Beverage Ordinance that impose stiffer penalties for vendors caught in violation of the law.
JPHSA also conducts the mandatory merchant education courses for businesses cited after compliance checks. These responsible alcohol courses educate staff about the legal and ethical ramifications of selling alcohol to underage patrons. The curriculum emphasizes the science behind the life-altering consequences of alcohol on the brain development of youth.
JPHSA Receives Funds from U.S. Dept. of Health
Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority (JPHSA) is receiving $325,000 in funding for its JeffCare program from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to expand access to treatment for opioid addiction. JeffCare intends to use this funding to establish an intensive outpatient detoxification program for opiate addiction at its West Jefferson Health Center. Administered by the HHS Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), this award is part of a total $94 million in Affordable Care Act funding to 271 health centers in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Jefferson Parish has a high rate of opioid abuse and has seen a spike in opioid-related overdoses in recent years.