Pickaway Addiction Action Coalition (“PAAC” or “Coalition”) was established late in 2015. Several dedicated Pickaway County community advocates and leaders were inspired by the efforts of similar communities in Ohio who were working together to eliminate drug addiction. The founding purpose of the Coalition was to enhance collaboration, complement existing community resources, and enhance the availability of resources for citizens suffering with addiction and their families. PAAC is currently comprised of sixteen board members and a 42 member advisory council representing Pickaway County public services and businesses. The advisory council continues to grow.
The group has been meeting twice a month since early December 2015. The Coalition has shared stories about the local impact of opiate addiction, identified key stakeholders, engaged a facilitator, gathered data about addiction in Pickaway County, compiled a list of currently available addiction resources in Pickaway County, and developed Vision & Mission statements. Several background books were shared between members, including Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones, Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy by David Sheff, and Chasing The Scream by Johann Hari. The Coalition Vision is: “Ending drug addiction in Pickaway County by 2020”. The Coalition Mission is: “To develop, implement, evaluate, and sustain multi-strategy Pickaway county-wide efforts to prevent drug abuse, addiction, overdose, and death for our citizens”.
The Coalition gained momentum at a facilitated All-Day Planning Event in March 2016. At this retreat, four calls to action were determined, teams of volunteers were identified, and short-term goals for each team were established. These teams are currently working to establish a family support group, enhance access to services for incarcerated individuals, improve community awareness and engagement, and sustain the efforts of the coalition. A nonprofit corporate structure has been developed.