MASON — Residents learned of many resources available locally when the second community meeting was held Tuesday by the Mason Police Department.
Chief Rich Gilkey told those attending that Mason’s drug problem now consists mainly of marijuana and cocaine, but it is just a matter of time before heroin moves into the area.
“We’ve got to stick together, because once it comes this way, it will be a flood,” Gilkey stated. “Any information, any tip we get, we are going to act on it.”
He told the group of the recent arrests that have been made in Mason, including one Sunday night where police confiscated marijuana and cash, as well as a gun that was stolen from the Gallipolis area. Another involved stolen property and a gun, while yet a third was confiscated needles.
Gilkey said there were six drug overdoses in Point Pleasant last week. The Mason police are trying to keep those situations from coming to the Bend Area, he added.
Also speaking at the meeting were Brittni Kaylor, coordinator of the Mason County Prevention Coalition, Jessica Kapp of The Meeting House, and Paula Gregory of Contact.
Kaylor said her main goal is to prevent drug abuse in the community. She said the coalition also deals with drug abuse treatment and recovery.
Youth prevention is particularly important to Kaylor, she said. She goes into all the county schools, speaking not only about drug abuse prevention, but other relevant issues as well, such as bullying and dating violence. She said Students Against Destructive Decisions (S.A.D.D.) organizations are located in all three county high schools.
Kaylor emphasized the public needs to get educated, get involved, and spread awareness.
She announced the second in a series of three town meetings will be held March 12, 6 p.m., at the First Church of the Nazarene in Point Pleasant. While the first meeting in February covered “What is Addiction and How Does It Affect Others,” the March meeting will focus on “What are the Treatments Available and Explain Them to me.” The final meeting of the series will be held April 9, 6 p.m., at the Trinity United Methodist Church. It will deal with “What Does it Take for Lifelong Recovery to Happen.”
Kapp told the attendees that The Meeting House is a safe haven for people in drug recovery, and has become an entire community within itself. She stated it is a place where people can drop in, and where monthly events are held.
Kapp announced that another facility will be opening in Hartford that will offer the same type of services. It is located at 299 California Street and will be opening in the next week or so.
She added that she and husband Brent Kapp work with area police, hospitals, magistrates and judges to take people off the street and get them into detox and treatment centers. Kapp said everyone can find help, and representatives from The Meeting House will help through the entire process.
Paula Gregory serves as a rape and victim advocate for Mason County through Contact. She said she deals with about two rape cases per month in the county, and services all ages, both female and male.
Gregory said rape cases are serious and can leave lifelong scars. She stated she is there for support and can go with victims to the hospital, police station and court.
The next community meeting will be held at the end of March. The specific time and date will be announced at a later date.