MAPP plans for prevention
A group of educators, county staff, parents, business owners and interested parties attended the Mille Lacs Area Partners for Prevention (MAPP) meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 25, to plan strategy for the coming months.
Nathan Sindt, regional prevention coordinator for the Minnesota Alcohol and Drug Coalition, provides technical information and support to the group.
Discussion was held regarding the healthcare community. A meeting will be held with the leadership group at the Mille Lacs Health System regarding providing information for healthcare providers to pass on to their patients.
Amber Kent, MAPP planning and implementation coordinator, said youth considers healthcare providers a legitimate source of information.
The group discussed a strategic plan to discourage adults from purchasing alcohol for minors. Jamie Root-Larsen suggested a “sticker shock campaign” which includes placing placards in off-sale liquor businesses stating it is illegal to purchase alcohol for minors. Jim England, owner of Trailside Wine & Spirits in Onamia, said, “As a business owner, the repercussion of providing to minors is devastating.” He said people in the liquor business get shut down.
Mille Lacs County Attorney elect Joe Walsh was at the meeting. He told the group he would like to see a social host ordinance adopted by the county. Walsh said he has talked to Mille Lacs County Sheriff Brent Lindgren and the sheriff is 100 percent behind an ordinance. His plan is for a county wide ordinance that would also encompass the cities within the county, but cities could also pass their own social host ordinance. Because Mille Lacs County has a public law 280 partnership with the Mille Lacs Band, Walsh said tribal police would also enforce the ordinance. Walsh said by adopting the ordinance, the county would close a loop hole for providing alcohol to minors.
The subject of drug abuse was brought up. Walsh said there are already drug laws that deal with that issue.
Sindt said the next grant cycle will involve drug use and deal with drug abuse issues. The current grant that funds MAPP has a greater focus on alcohol use.
MAPP focuses on the three northern schools in the county: Isle, Onamia and Nay Ah Shing.
MAPP Isle youth leader Shawn Willis said transportation has been an issue, but he is dealing with that. The Isle kids are meeting at the Chiminising Center and some just are not used to going there. He said he thinks that has been resolved. He said the leadership group wants to have a MAPP day in Isle. They have “healthy choices” t-shirts available for the kids. Plans for a MAPP day in all three schools will be made by the end of the month to take place in January. A speaker will be invited to speak to the students.
MAPP has traditionally been meeting in Isle, Onamia and Nay Ah Shing on a rotating basis, but Kent announced that in order to be more consistant and sustain the interested participants and eliminate confusion of where meetings are each month, they will be held at the ROC in Onamia from now on. Future meetings will be held the last Tuesday of the month at noon, except in December because of the holidays, it will be held Tuesday, Dec. 16, at noon at the ROC in Onamia.