The3rd meeting of the Subcommittee on Families and Children of the Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare was held on Wednesday, September 21, 2005, at 10:00 AM, in Room 131 of the Capitol Annex. Senator Katie Stine, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Katie Stine, Co-Chair; Representative Tom Burch, Co-Chair; Senators Denise Harper Angel, Alice Kerr, Dan Seum, and Johnny Ray Turner; Representatives Steve Nunn, Jon David Reinhardt, Ancel Smith, Kathy Stein, and Addia Wuchner.
Guests: Charlotte Wethington, Transitions, Inc.; Jim Liles, Northern Kentucky Drug Task Force; Vona Fuellhart, Christ Academy; Kathy Adams, Michelle Sanborn, and Faun Conley, Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department for Community Based Services; TJ Delehanty, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, 4-H Youth Development Program; and Glenna Taylor, ARC of Kentucky.
LRC Staff: DeeAnn Mansfield and Cindy Smith.
The minutes of the August 22, 2005 Meeting were approved without objection.
The first item on the agenda was a presentation on Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse in Kentucky by Steve Shannon, Director, Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Charlotte Wethington, an advocate from Transitions, Inc. was also present to answer questions and provide information. Mr. Shannon mentioned four areas with current activity related to substance abuse in Kentucky. He said the House Bill 843 Commission raised awareness of the problems of mental health and substance abuse. He also said that Governor Fletcher's and Lieutenant Governor Pence's initiative focused on substance abuse prevention and treatment issues. One piece of this initiative is the Recovery Kentucky Initiative, which will provide ten 100 bed treatment and recovery units across the state, 2 per Congressional district. The Kentucky Housing Corporation will be building the structures and other funding will come from the Community Development Block Grant and the Department of Corrections. These adult facilities will be voluntary and based on the therapeutic community model used at the Healing Place, in Louisville. The research shows that this treatment has success rates of 65 percent within 12 months of treatment, which is probably not enough time for complete recovery. Ms. Wethington added that intensive outpatient treatment programs are particularly ineffective for people using heroin or meth. Residential treatment programs are much more effective. There is no residential treatment for adolescents in Northern Kentucky. Mr. Shannon also discussed the current focus on meth labs across the state and said there is treatment for meth addiction that works. He indicated that there are 5 schools in 3 communities participating in Kentucky Encouraging Youth to Succeed (KEYS), a state funded substance abuse program in schools. He noted that Northern Kentucky schools did not apply for this program in the first round of grants.
Representative Burch asked if beds were currently available. Mr. Shannon said that recovery beds are not available now, but will be within a year and he could get more information about that from the Healing Place in Louisville. Representative Burch asked how many beds there are across the state. Mr. Shannon said there are about 1000 beds across the state, with two in each congressional district.
Representative Reinhardt asked about the Campbell County High School not applying for the program in the first round of grants. He asked how that decision was made. Mr. Shannon said that is a local school decision, and Campbell County may be waiting to see how it works out in other districts.
Representative Wuchner asked about dual diagnosis and mentioned its importance with ADHD and bi-polar disorder. She also asked about longer stays similar to the 2-5 year stays in European facilities. Mr. Shannon said that co-occurring is a focus, especially with mental health and substance abuse. He also said that that Kentucky is not in a position to keep people longer due to the high demand for treatment.
Senator Seum asked what the definition of "child" is and asked how a child would volunteer himself to be treated. Mr. Shannon said that a child is a person under the age of 18 years. He said it is best if families are involved from the beginning, but children can go for help themselves and parents can insist that the child goes.
The next item on the agenda was a presentation on Adolescent Substance Abuse in Northern Kentucky by Jim Liles, Director, Drug Policy Task Force, Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. Mr. Liles said that this is the oldest drug task force in Kentucky and serves Boone, Kenton, Campbell and Grant Counties, which is a population of about 300,000. He said that the biggest problem drugs are marijuana, crack cocaine, powder cocaine, prescription drug abuse, heroin and meth. He said that there were an average of 12 meth labs per year. To date in 2005, there have been 10. He said that with adolescents the problem drugs are marijuana, prescription drugs, and heroin. He agreed that there is not enough treatment available. Most people only get treatment after they enter the criminal justice system.
The last item on the agenda was a presentation on the Kentucky Youth Policy Assessment by TJ Delahanty, 4-H Youth Development Program, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Kentucky. Mr. Delahanty presented results of the Youth Policy Assessment which identified the statewide resources and supports for Kentucky's young people. The goal was to find ways to coordinate the existing programs in order to improve youth services for young people ages 8 to 24 years. The total number of programs they studied was 61, which represents a total in the FY 04 budge of $855,155,557. The study assessed the degree to which the programs met the "Five America Promises to Youth" that research has found to be the best predictors of positive outcomes for youth programs. A major deficiency of existing programs in Kentucky is the finding that 83 percent of the programs meet only two of the five promises; 94 percent meet only three of the promises. The largest deficiency was in the lack of programs that offer youth opportunities to serve. Out of the 61 programs, 28 have advisory councils. Only a small number have youth involved.
Chelsea Douglas, Trevor Douglas and Jona Fuellhart, three students from Christ Academy in Sparta were in attendance at the meeting and were asked what they thought could be done to help youth in their communities. They indicated that there is not enough for children to do in their towns, which sometimes pushes children to use drugs. They also indicated that the use of harder, more addicting drugs, like cocaine needs to be addressed.
Lastly, Glenna Taylor from ARC of Kentucky reported that they have a training program for parents of children with problems associated with meth labs and substance abuse.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:35 a.m.