East Texas drug use rises; funds for prevention agencies among lowest in the nation

East Texas drug use rises; funds for prevention agencies among lowest in the nation

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Drug and alcohol abuse is constantly growing in the United States, but the funds for prevention in East Texas are not.

"We barely scratch the surface of the need for prevention services and counseling services," said Phyllis Grandgeorge, the executive director of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council (A.D.A.C.) of East Texas.  

This was proven in a study by the non profit organization "Tobacco Free Kids." They ranked Texas number forty for providing funds to drug prevention agencies. 

"More funding would help us meet the really growing need that we see in our community,"said Grandgeorge.

Though East Texas' A.D.A.C. tries to spread as much knowledge as possible to prevent drug addiction, the study says that Texas only gives four percent of what the C.D.C. suggests for these agencies. 

"If we had more funding, we would be able to reach a larger audience,"said Grandgeorge. 

A.D.A.C. says their partnerships with local organizations give them a break with funding. The one with Temple has allowed them to renovate their building. This will eliminate their rent fees making more money available for the program.

"Marijuana, alcohol, and now vaping are issues that we deal with,"said Grandgeorge. 

Grandgeorge says with help from organizations like Temple, United Way, and Kurth, they are left with a little more money to tackle those drug issues in the community. 

"We are just so grateful that we have community support and individuals giving money to further the prevention message,"said Grandgeorge. 

Though East Texas could use more to prevent an ever growing issue, they say the support of the community has worked wonders.

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