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Addressing Substance Use Recovery Together

When you meet someone, you don’t know how important that relationship will become down the road.

- Adam McQueen, Wayne County assistant chief probation officer

Adam McQueen, assistant chief probation officer at Wayne County Probation, is an active member of the Taking Action to Address Substance Use in Communities (TASC) program. Funded by the North Central Cooperative Extension Association, Purdue faculty and staff developed TASC to provide a framework for communities addressing substance use disorder.

TASC was created and launched by Nicole Adams, clinical associate professor at the Purdue School of Nursing, and Michael Wilcox, senior associate at the Purdue Center for Regional Development and assistant director and program leader for Purdue Extension Community Development.

Adams and Wilcox co-created the program with Elisa Worland, community development and health and human sciences educator in Wayne County, to give communities the tools to take a proactive and inclusive stance on substance use. TASC creates spaces for coalition members like social services, education, law enforcement and, notably, the recovery community, to connect and develop effective community-based intervention initiatives.

TASC equips Extension educators to help local coalitions work toward a community-wide recovery-oriented system of care (ROSC). The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration describes ROSC as “a coordinated network of community-based services and supports that is person-centered and builds on the strengths and resiliencies of individuals, families and communities to achieve abstinence and improved health, wellness and quality of life for those with or at risk of alcohol and drug problems.”

Through TASC, McQueen has made professional connections to help improve recovery service for individuals on community supervision. For example, he helped increase the accessibility of NaloxBoxes, an emergency intervention tool for opioid overdose.

When you focus down at the community level, you’re looking at the values, cultures and resources of each community and their people. The program focuses on the assets communities already have and provides the curriculum to help make meaningful change

- Adam McQueen, assistant chief probation officer at Wayne County Probation

In addition to Wayne County, TASC has been implemented in Clark, Newton, Jasper and Tippecanoe counties. Collaborators from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, The Ohio State University and Turtle Mountain Community College are implementing community-shaped iterations of the program beyond Indiana.

PROGRAM IMPACT

A coalition is formed when multiple groups work together to achieve a common goal. TASC HELPS COALITIONS IDENTIFY THEIR COUNTY'S NEEDS and set goals to address them. Purdue Extension educators support coalitions throughout the state.

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