LETTER: Anti-drug project should be closely followed for possible applications in Clallam

The scourge of addiction has swept America and Clallam County.

Ameliorating its root causes seem like a “no-brainer” solution.

Despite some heartwarming recovery successes, many folks are caught in the revolving door of treatment and re-addiction.

The anti-drug project “Preventure” is a revolutionary attack on addiction described in the Dec. 30-31 Peninsula Daily News article on the Commentary page, “Traits That Put Kids At Risk For Addiction.”

Preventure screens all schoolchildren for personality traits that are known, in high percentages, to lead to substance abuse.

Children identified with the target personality traits receive specialized education to address their specific vulnerabilities.

Three of four traits identified “are linked to mental health issues, a critical risk factor for addiction,” according to the article.

As a former board member of our local National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) affiliate, state trainer for the NAMI Basics program that teaches caregivers about mental health issues in children, special education teacher, advisory board member for the Child Check program and community advocate on the Clallam County Chemical Dependency/Mental Health Advisory Board, my focus has been on early intervention, education and treatment.

I’m happy to say that our county, through the Chemical Dependency/Mental Health Advisory Board, has funded projects to universally screen young children for possible behavioral health issues and assist parents to find resources and gain parenting techniques, bring mental health and substance use education and treatment into our schools, and work intensively with mothers and mothers-to-be to treat and prevent addiction issues from affecting their children.

The Montreal-based Preventure project should be followed for possible applications in Clallam County.

Margi Ahlgren,

Port Angeles