The State of Illinois recently awarded the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center four drug prevention grants totaling $574,297. The Health Department will use these funds to strengthen the safety and health of schools and communities by reducing youth drug use and assisting Lake County residents and workers who want to quit their tobacco use.
Underage drinking, binge drinking, use of tobacco products, and use of illegal drugs can result in chronic disease, soaring medical costs, violent crimes, damaged relationships and other repercussions. Tobacco use causes 45 deaths every day in the State of Illinois alone (Centers for Disease Control, 2009). To combat these issues, the State funds community-based alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention programs through the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Illinois Department of Public Health. This year, Governor Quinn and the state legislators increased the budget for local health department tobacco control programs throughout the State by $1 million.
The grants awarded to the Health Department will help support the Prevention Services and Tobacco Free Lake County programs, which are committed to using proven strategies to reduce youth substance abuse and overall tobacco use.According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, population-based prevention strategies, such as tobacco-free park policies and alcohol compliance checks, are worth the investment, saving taxpayers anywhere from $2.60 to $84 for every dollar spent.
"Our department is thankful to Governor Quinn and the state legislators for providing our agency the funding we need to continue to provide these important services to reduce chronic disease among our residents. Alcohol, tobacco and drug use are a contributing factor for diseases from diabetes to breast cancer, and reducing youth use will have a long term positive impact on the health of our county," said Irene Pierce, the Health Department's Executive Director. With the State's support, the Health Department is able to offer the services listed below.
* Youth life skills education
* Technical assistance implementing prevention media campaigns
* Technical assistance to community coalitions focused on youth drug prevention
* Assistance with collecting and interpreting data related to youth drug use
* Technical assistance on smoke-free laws and policies
* County-wide youth group focused on public policy
* Teacher trainings on classroom tobacco prevention strategies
* Training for medical providers assisting patients who use tobacco
* Individual and group tobacco treatment counseling
For more information, please visit www.lakecountyil.gov/health
and click "Population Health Services." You can also call Prevention Services at 847-377-8770 or Tobacco Free Lake County at 847-377-8090.