Judy Hubbard called the cycle of drug addiction within families a “generational curse.”
“I’ve seen about three or four generations now that it really has taken its toll on people,” Hubbard said.
Hubbard hopes to bring the Kentucky-based training program Creating Lasting Family Connections to Columbia in order to prevent drug and alcohol abuse. Hubbard asked the Columbia City Council help fund the certification an instructor would need at more than $33,000. Courses would be taught at the Nora Stewart Early Learning Center on Ash Street, where Hubbard is a board member.
The program is an evidence-based curriculum developed by Ted Strader in Louisville, and administered through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The program seeks to prevent alcohol and drug abuse by ” promoting community and family connections as a source of protection,” according to the SAMHSA website.
Hubbard said the focus the program has on the family is vital to solving issues specific to Columbia. In central Columbia, where Hubbard works as a neighborhood outreach specialist for the city, poverty and single-parent households can lead children to violence. The program would also help people coming back to Columbia from prison reintegrate within the community and their own families. Hubbard said the central Columbia community would be receptive to the program.
“They’re still living it, and they don’t want that for their children,” Hubbard said. “And honestly, a lot of people that I know that are dealers don’t want that for our children.”
Second Ward councilman Michael Trapp said the program is effective, as long as it has the participants. Trapp ran the program for Phoenix House, a drug recovery center, years ago. The services offered by CLFC, Trapp said, fill a gap in town that the city’s own social services don’t offer.
“Bringing dads back into the home and giving them the parental skills to be able to positively interact with their kids, there’s a huge gap in those areas,” Trapp said.
First Ward councilman Clyde Ruffin asked City Manager Mike Matthes put an agreement together to fund the program. Money would come from the city council’s reserve funds.