Thanks to the recently levied marijuana Colorado taxes, a non-profit organization based in Denver will now be try a novel approach to fight substance abuse. The substantial amount of tax in cash that comes from tax revenue on marijuana is making it possible.
Peer Assistance has been working for the past 30 years to establish drug use-related intervention conversations. It the loved ones of the addicts approach them with assisted conversation, thus helping these people offer best support. With the new cannabis Colorado tax revenue, the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing is now going to contribute a $200,000 fund towards the cause. The new program is called “One Degree: Shift the Influence.”
How Will Marijuana Colorado Tax Revenue Help “One Degree”?
“One Degree” is not traditional intervention. It is going to be a web/app-based endeavor. A simulation tool will simulate the conversations that normally happen between addicts and friends/family. The latter party can practice the conversations beforehand and get a better perspective into what it is going to be like. Thus, without having to turn the addicts to rehab right away, which can be a hard decision to make, the dear ones can help the addicts who are close to them.
The app may be meant for Colorado, but it can be accessed on any computer, smart phone and mobile device.
The Idea behind “One Degree”
The basic idea is role-play, something which can come in very handy for someone who hasn’t faced this sort of situation before. The make-up of the app resembles “The Sims”, a video game series wherein virtual characters interact in conversation.
To begin with, there are two different scenarios that you will find in “One Degree” – one features Donna and the other Jordan. Donna is trying to overcome her grief of her divorce through excessive drinking. Jordan on the other hand is failing at work because of reckless partying. The user, however, is named Phil. So, if you are using the app, you are Phil. The simulated scenario helps you prepare yourself for the situations in real life. The simulated dialogue helps you gain insight into possible conversation. It helps you get prepared for a real-life dialogue.
Carolyn Swenson, Training and Consultation Manager at Peer Assistance explains her endeavor in pretty simple words, “We wanted to build a confidence about bringing up a topic that can be uncomfortable. It’s about helping people find out what can make a conversation like this successful or unsuccessful.”
In 2016 as well, Peer Assistance benefitted from cannabis Colorado revenue. It invested the same in training health care workers in entire Colorado. It aimed at preparing them for being prepared to have such difficult dialogues when needed.
Swenson also added, “There are a lot of experts on how that money has been allocated. [Our society] hasn’t focused much on prevention and early intervention, and that’s cost our country a lot of money when people start to develop serious problems later in life. We feel like a focus on prevention makes a lot of sense. When you bring these topics up with general health care, it de-stigmatizes the issue.”