Increasing the Awareness of Addiction and Misuse of Legal Substances

The Brown County Chemical Health Action Team (CHAT) goal is to support educational programs, activities and policies that increase awareness of addiction and misuse of legal substances, and also address the use of illegal substances. The team also works to promote sober activities, create social activities that do not involve the use of substances, and promote a responsible drinking campaign.

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CHAT is comprised of representatives from Brown County Family Services, New Ulm Medical Center, police departments, area schools, probation, Brown County Public Health and community members. The action team grew out of the desire to continue a county-wide coalition to deal with substance abuse after the Brown County Underage Substance Abuse Coalition (USAC) disbanded in the fall of 2019. Brown County Public Health and the Heart of New Ulm share coordination and facilitation of CHAT, which focuses on chemical prevention for all ages, countywide.

CHAT Priorities and Recent Accomplishments

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Broad Representation Across the County

Formed in June 2020, the countywide CHAT team is comprised of representatives from Brown County Family Services, New Ulm Medical Center, Sleepy Eye Medical Center, police departments, area schools, probation, Brown County Public Health and community members.

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Resources for the Community

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Assistance with Checking IDs During COVID-19

Created a resource card to assist businesses and individuals responsible for preventing illegal sales to minors during COVID-19 and helped law enforcement conducting compliance checks by finding youth to assist.

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Community Scavenger Hunts to Promote Sober Activity

Offered community scavenger hunts in New Ulm, Sleepy Eye and Springfield, MN in 2021 to encourage people to get out and practice healthy walking or bicycling activities for both their physical and mental health that don’t involve substance use.

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Other Priorities

  • Continue creating awareness of the team and local resources
  • Research social host ordinances and responsible drinking campaigns

You or Someone You Know Need Help?

In an Emergency

If you or a friend need urgent assistance, call 911 immediately, or take your friend directly to the emergency room. If you feel it’s safe, stay with your friend, or find someone to stay with them until help arrives.

In a Crisis

You are never alone. Help is always available. For immediate support 24/7, reach out to Crisis text line at 741741, South Central Crisis Center at 1-800-247-2809, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. It’s free and it’s highly confidential, unless it’s essential to contact emergency services to keep you or a friend safe.

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Chemical Health Resources

It is never easy to overcome substance abuse and addiction on your own. However, you can get help from support groups and meetings, which could provide you with a safe environment as you recover from your addiction.

Brown County maintains a schedule of AA and NA meetings that can be found in the Brown County area on their website.

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