Print this page
Thursday, 09 November 2017 06:01

Swift Current organization changes name to Drug Strategy Action Committee

Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)
All members of the Drug Strategy Action Committee have received their Safe Place certification. They are pictured with their cards, Nov. 2. Back row, left to right, Sarah McDonald, Patti Dekowny, Ron Toles, Chris Martens Danielle Pool, Kimberly Bilanski, Sandra Sadden, and Const. Tony Curti. Front row, left to right, Janice Meyer, Const. Chloe Lentz, Patti Wilson, and Leanne Sloman. All members of the Drug Strategy Action Committee have received their Safe Place certification. They are pictured with their cards, Nov. 2. Back row, left to right, Sarah McDonald, Patti Dekowny, Ron Toles, Chris Martens Danielle Pool, Kimberly Bilanski, Sandra Sadden, and Const. Tony Curti. Front row, left to right, Janice Meyer, Const. Chloe Lentz, Patti Wilson, and Leanne Sloman. Matthew Liebenberg

A Swift Current area community organization that aims to engage the community on substance abuse issues has announced a name change and a competition to create a new logo for the group. The name of the Swift Current & District Drug Task Force has changed to Drug Strategy Action Committee. Chairperson Patti Dekowny said the name change took place in October.


“Our next step will be having a logo contest, hopefully having someone from the community design us a logo,” she mentioned. “We have received a donation from Innovation Credit Union for a tablet for the winner and so we are hoping to get a new logo and then really being able to launch with our new name.”
The name change was the result of a feeling among committee members that the previous name was outdated.
“We have members in the community who are on our committee and felt when they were out speaking to other community members that the name Drug Task Force didn’t represent what we were doing,” she explained. “It felt there was some power in relation to the name, and so we wanted to have a name that reflected more that we’re a committee that does work, that we’re doing things, we’re just not meeting, and we wanted to acknowledge that we are working around the area towards drugs.”
The name change will not result in any changes to the activities of the group. It aims to prevent and reduce substance abuse in the community through a focus on four key pillars – prevention, treatment, harm reduction and community justice.
“Our main focus right now is on prevention activities,” she said. “That’s been our focus for the past few years. We have a number of people who are interested in prevention of substance misuse in our community. So those activities we do are swim nights, we’ve done a bowling night, we take part in the mocktail competition, we try and raise awareness through our Facebook page on the harms of drug and alcohol misuse.”
The members of the committee are from diverse backgrounds, but they all share an interest in addressing drug and substance abuse. The committee includes representatives from the RCMP and Swift Current City Council.
“The first criterium is you have a passion to work towards reducing the harms of alcohol and drug misuse,” she said. “If your organization agrees for you to come and represent them, then that’s kind of second. We only want people who are willing to work towards our common goal. … We are always looking for more volunteers to help us with activities or someone who has a special interest in harm reduction or treatment.”
According to Dekowny the existing logo looks like a badge, which still reflects an association with their old name.
“We felt the logo and the name both reflected that we had some kind of power,” she said. “We’re a group trying to raise awareness, and help make changes to our community rather than having power over what’s going on.”
The new logo should reflect their vision and values. The competition to design a new logo for the Drug Strategy Action Committee is open to everyone in the community. Design proposals must be submitted by Dec. 1. The submissions can be e-mailed to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The organization supports the City of Swift Current’s Safe Places – Youth Certified initiative, which aims to reduce the potential risk to children and youth through the certification of people who are in a position of trust with youth.
“We had requested that everyone do that, because we feel we want to support the City’s initiative, and we feel it’s important because we are doing activities with youth,” she said.
Dekowny attended a City of Swift Current council meeting on Nov. 6 for the proclamation of the week of Nov. 12-18 as National Addictions Awareness Week in the community. This year’s theme is “Words Matter” and during the week there will be a focus on how the use of stigmatizing language can result in false and harmful myths about substance use, which can act as a barrier to recovery.  The Drug Strategy Action Committee will participate in various activities during the week to raise awareness in the community. It will host a free swim event at the Aquatic Centre on Nov. 16 from 7:30 to 8:30. It will also participate in the mocktail contest at the Swift Current Comprehensive High School, which is organized by the Students Against Drinking and Driving (SADD) chapter at the school.

Read 265 times
Matthew Liebenberg

Reporter/Photographer