COUNTY’S ANTI-DRUG PROGRAM LAUDED; ADA INITIATIVE SEEKS VOLUNTEERS

COUNTY’S ANTI-DRUG PROGRAM LAUDED; ADA INITIATIVE SEEKS VOLUNTEERS

An evaluation by the New Mexico Department of Health has brought positive reinforcement for a Doña Ana County-based initiative aimed at keeping teens off drugs.
The PeerSuader program, overseen and directed by the county’s South Central New Mexico Prevention Coalition, targets young people attending alternative high schools who are considered to be at a high risk for drug abuse. The students are offered comprehensive information pertaining to life skills, resiliency, substance abuse and the value of community service. The primary message of the program is that drug abuse can adversely affect a person’s health and future.
The state evaluation concluded that the program, as implemented in Doña Ana County, resulted in fewer cases of drug abuse and teen depression among the 40 teens who participated. The program budget was $125,000. Funding came through the state, but originated with the federal government’s State Incentive Grant.
“Seeing this program work represents a proud moment for our community,” said SCNMPC Program Coordinator Amy Buchanan. “This report from the state validates the hard work that is being done by county employees to keep area children healthy by lowering incidences of irresponsible teen behavior related to drug and alcohol abuse.”
For more information, call the South Central New Mexico Prevention Coalition at (505) 647-524-8951. Residents calling from outside the Las Cruces area may call toll-free at 1-877-827-7200 and request that their call be transferred to the SCNMPC offices.
As part of its continuing effort to address access issues related to disabled residents, Doña Ana County is accepting applications from people who would like to serve on the county’s ADA Advisory Committee. The county’s new ADA coordinator, Mary Amos, is coordinating the augmentation of the ADA Advisory Committee.
Applications will be accepted through Nov. 14. Residents interested in serving should send their resumés to Amos at 180 W. Amador Ave., Las Cruces, N.M., 88001. Resumés also may be faxed in to (505) 647-7286 or sent to reneep@co.dona-ana.nm.us via e-mail.
Amos, who began work as the county’s ADA coordinator on Oct. 22, 2001, is charged with helping the county identify and implement improvements related to access for the disabled in terms of buildings, recreational and other facilities, and programs.
A longtime resident of El Paso, Amos is a former job developer and case manager for Goodwill Industries of El Paso. Since 1996, she also has been a tireless advocate for ADA programs in the region, and she has built a solid regional reputation for her knowledge of and commitment to the ideals of ADA implementation in the government and business fields.

She has served in various official and volunteer capacities for the El Paso Center for the Deaf, the Texas Governor’s Committee for Special Education, the Coalition for Texans with Disabilities, the Texas Transition Task Force, the Hearing Impaired Coalition, the West Texas Association for People with Disabilities, the Learning Disabilities Association and the Association of Parents Assisting Texans with Handicaps.

For more information on the county’s ADA initiative, contact Amos at (505) 647-7200. Residents calling from outside the Las Cruces area may call toll-free at 1-877-827-7200 and request that their call be transferred to Amos’ office.