New Frontier: Current and Emerging Substance Use Trends in 2019 Training on July 9, 2019
Learn about the latest substance use trends, recognize signs and symptoms of impairment related to substances covered, and gain an understanding of prevention efforts and how you can make an impact in your community at this day-long training in Cedar Rapids.
New Frontier: Current and Emerging Substance Use Trends in 2019 will be held Tuesday, July 9, 2019, 8:30 am-4:30 pm, at Grant Wood AEA, 4401 6th Street SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Registration is $60 and covers participant materials and CEUs. 6.0 CEUs have been approved for this training by the Iowa Board of Certification.
Register on or before Monday, July 1, 2019. Note there is a maximum of 70 participants and the training may fill up before the cut-off date.
ASAC Prevention Specialists Angela Harbour and Jeff Meyers are the trainers for this session. Click here for the flyer.
Iowa’s Smoke Free Air Act, which will celebrate its 11th anniversary in 2019, prohibits smoking in places of employment; however, the prohibition does not extend to smokeless tobacco. That means products like chewing tobacco or e-cigarettes are legal to use unless a business implements a tobacco and nicotine free policy.
According to the journal Tobacco Control, smokers miss about 2.6 more days of work each year than non-smokers. Additionally, the American Cancer Society estimates tobacco-related health care costs and lost work productivity equal $289 billion dollars in the U.S.
The decision by an employer to become a tobacco and nicotine free workplace benefits both the company and its employees. “Tobacco users who want to quit have more of a reason to do so in a supportive environment,” said Andrea Corcoran, Wellness and Benefits Coordinator for Lutheran Services in Iowa (LSI). “A study by the Society for Human Resource Management also found employee engagement and morale is improved by a healthy workforce.”
LSI is the most recent organization to adopt a complete and comprehensive tobacco and nicotine free policy. LSI currently provides services to all 99 counties in Iowa from 28 office locations. This new policy includes each location across the state as well as the vehicles used for business purposes. LSI’s updated policy also includes e-cigarettes and nicotine products not approved by the FDA for tobacco cessation.
ASAC congratulates LSI in updating their tobacco and nicotine policy to assist in improving the health and well-being of their employees and visitors. ASAC can assist with implementing a tobacco and nicotine free policy at other area businesses as well. Free resources and signage are available.
In Clinton and Jackson Counties, contact Candace Seitz at ASAC at 563-243-2124 or email@example.com for more information.
Graduation parties are a celebratory time for graduates and their family and friends. The last thing anybody expects is a tragedy to occur. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people 15-18 years old (NHTSA). A large number of these accidents occur due to driving under the influence. To avoid a tragedy, we all need to be safe, smart drivers this graduation season. Avoid driving impaired to protect yourself and those around you.
We have heard it before: Alcohol-impaired driving can cause fatal accidents. Teenage impaired driving has decreased by about 50% since 1991 (CDC). But about 1 in 10 teens in high school reported drinking and driving. Also, about one quarter of fatal teen car accidents involved underage drinking (MADD). This isn’t just our teens, though. In the past 30 days, 3.1% of adults reported driving impaired in Iowa. This is higher than the national average at 1.9% (CDC).
You need to find other means of transportation when you are under the influence. In urban areas, there is access to public transportation, Uber, Lyft, and taxis. In rural areas there isn’t as much available transportation. Having a designated driver, calling someone sober to pick you up from a graduation party, or staying until you’re sober may be your only options. Driving while intoxicated is not worth your life or the life of someone else.
Other Substances Can Impair Driving, Too
We are still learning about driving while impaired with other substances, especially regarding marijuana in states where recreational use is legal. Specific drugs have different effects on driving based on how they act in the brain. Cocaine or methamphetamine can make drivers become aggressive and reckless (NIDA). Certain prescription medicines can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and impaired cognitive function (NIDA). Marijuana can cause slow reaction time and impaired judgment of time and distance (NIDA). Mixing substance can cause even greater impairments.
After alcohol, marijuana is the drug most often found in the blood of drivers involved in a motor vehicle crash. More research is needed regarding marijuana because we know that THC can be detected in bodily fluids for days or weeks after use. If you are under the influence of any substance you should seek other means of transportation or have a sober driver.
The Linn County Coalition for Safe and Healthy Communities, along with Area Substance Abuse Council, is hosting “Each Mind Matters” on Saturday, May 4, 2019, 10 am to 2 pm, at NewBo City Market, 1100 3rd Street SE, Cedar Rapids. The event focuses on educating the public about youth mental health and substance use disorders by sharing real stories and statistics from youth.
Each Mind Matters will include an interactive mobile art display—a large “tree” of colorful handprints. Attendees of all ages will be invited to add their own handprint to show support for local youth mental health. The art showcase will be displayed throughout multiple locations around Linn County in the month of May 2019. Community members are encouraged to take a picture at the event and of the art display, using the hashtag #EachMindMatters on social media.
Youth volunteers at the event will have flashcards stating facts about mental health and suicide and the relationship to substances. Staff from Foundation 2 Crisis Services, Tanager Place, and Olson Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic will be on hand to provide additional resources and their own family-friendly activities.
For more information about Each Mind Matters Event please contact ASAC Prevention Specialist Emily Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org or 319-390-4611 ext. 187.
On April 4, 2019, ASAC hosted its first Champions of Hope breakfast at the Hotel at Kirkwood Center in Cedar Rapids. Champions of Hope was a “friend-raiser,” intended to connect with people who didn’t yet know about ASAC and our services. A packed house of 145 guests enjoyed breakfast, learned more about ASAC services and heard personal stories from people whose lives have been impacted by substance use disorder. The event raised $21,000 that will be directed toward ASAC’s general funds.
ASAC’s Board Development Committee has been planning Champions of Hope for several months. Our new Fundraising Director, Adam Lau, came on board in mid-February—just in time to help with the final details.
Adam explained, “Our Board Development Committee did an amazing job setting up Champions of Hope and getting guests excited to attend. While a main goal of the breakfast was to raise funds, it was, more importantly, an opportunity to establish ASAC as a community-supported organization and to connect with people interested in becoming supporters.”
ASAC’s own Facilities Lead Cindy Johnson was one of the speakers at the breakfast. Cindy shared her story of continuous recovery from substance use disorder and traced where she was in the past to now celebrating 10 years in recovery.
Champions of Hope was sponsored by Collins Community Credit Union; ESG Professional Accountants; TrueNorth Companies, L.C.; Premier Investments of Iowa, Inc.; Iowa Solutions; Technicom Communication Systems; MindFire Communications; and Modern Piping, Inc.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CBS2/ FOX 28) — A new clinic in Cedar Rapids will soon help people affected by drug addiction by providing immediate access to medicated assisted treatment.
The Area Substance Abuse Council (ASAC) partnered with UCS Healthcare to bring a medication assisted treatment (MAT) clinic, to their facility, so patients can access the medication they need while seeking treatment with counselors at the center. Former patient Tara Jennings said this kind of treatment was crucial to overcoming her combined addiction to meth, opioids and alcohol.
“I didn’t have a life before I came to ASAC. I was seeking drugs 24/7. I was not a mother to my children,” said Jennings.
When she temporarily lost custody of her daughter, she finally sought treatment through medication.
“ASAC received a grant several years ago to provide medication assisted treatment, and then of course when the grant ended, we struggled,” said Kelly Reitzler, Director of Recovery Center at ASAC.
Counselors at ASAC assess patients for possible treatment solutions, but they cannot prescribe medications.
Now, a new permanent clinic will provide that immediate access for opioid and alcohol dependent patients. Right now, around 450 people ASAC treats qualify to seek medication through this clinic.
“It will be staffed by UCS. They will have a nurse that’s on staff that does the dispensing of the medications. There will be a visiting physician that meets with patients,” said Reitzler.
Rreitzler said unlike two other clinics in the area, there will be a larger variety of medications.
ASAC will also accept patient insurance to reduce overall costs.
“So we will be offering methadone, suboxone ,in addition to naltrexone and vivitrol,” said Reitzler.
She said immediate access has another benefit for their patients.
“If they can get access to medications at the same time that they’re accessing their treatment, transportation becomes less of a barrier,” said Reitzler.
Tara hopes this will help more addicts regain their life.
“Yes, tremendously,” said Tara Jennings.
The clinic is expected to open to patients at ASAC’s main location in Cedar Rapids, 3601 16th Ave SW some time later this spring or early summer.
ASAC is also working on starting a clinic at another location in Clinton.
“First introduced as a benign cessation aid, e-cigarettes have now been linked to a myriad of health concerns and are becoming more popular than ever before. Watch as prevention specialist Jeffrey Meyers and Dr. Thomas Gross of the American Lung Association discuss the rapid rise of e-cigarette use. Find out the health risks, marketing trends, and concerning youth appeal.”
CLINTON — The Clinton County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to seek a grant to help combat vaping among students.
Supervisors authorized Chairman Dan Srp to sign a Justice Assistance Grant application that would provide money for a program aimed at stemming the use of e-cigarettes and vaping.
Clinton and Jackson County Prevention Director Leslie Mussmann said the focus of the proposed grant is e-cigarette and vaping use among youth. The 2016 Iowa youth survey indicated that 15 percent of youth report they are using, double the amount in 2014, she said.
“Our local law enforcement school resource officers are actually saying they think it has doubled again since that point,” Mussmann said. “They’re looking at more of a 30 percent use rate of electronic smoking devices amongst youth. So what we’re proposing is to partner with our local SROs, law enforcement at the schools, to create a diversion program.”
Mussmann said the diversion program’s main focus would be on electronic tobacco devices but would also cover alcohol and marijuana use. The program would allow students with no other issues with law enforcement or school suspension to defer receiving a ticket for the offense of using. After finishing an education program, the students would receive a certificate to the ticket would be removed.
“What we’re proposing with this project is to create that program,” Mussmann said. “That program doesn’t currently exist. So we would need to work with law enforcement to create that program.”
Mussmann said the project comes with a projected total budget of more than $62,000. More than $49,800 of the funding would come directly from the grant, and a 25 percent match would be provided by the Area Substance Abuse Council.
“There wouldn’t be a match for the county to be concerned about,” Mussmann said. “There isn’t a financial responsibility from the county. What we’re asking for today is for you to be the signed fiscal agent because it is a requirement that the county be that person for a justice assistance grant.
“So we’d be asking for you guys to be the funnel system for that project. We would need a signature for the grant, and we would also need access to the Iowa grants site to be able to finish the grant proposal,” Mussmann said.
The program will go into effect July 1 if approved, Mussmann said.
Clinton County Auditor Eric Van Lancker said the county has administered Justice Assistance Grants in the past for this organization and for a couple of others.
“This wouldn’t be anything new for my office and its administration,” Van Lancker said. “It’s a little bit of time and a little bit of paperwork which the county’s always happy to help with these projects.”
Jake Mosbach/Clinton HeraldClinton Substance Abuse Council Executive Director Kristin Huisenga speaks Friday at Clinton Middle School at the group’s annual meeting, this year celebrating 30 years.
CLINTON — Celebrating 30 years in 2018, the Clinton Substance Abuse Council is continuing to positively influence Gateway-area youths and parents and guardians when it comes to the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol.
The organization held its annual meeting Friday at Clinton Middle School, reflecting on past initiatives that have shed light on the presence of dangerous substances in Clinton and surrounding areas. Along with the Gateway ImpACT Coalition and the Camanche-DeWitt Coalition, the Clinton Substance Abuse Council has relationships with local law enforcement officials, school officials, and field experts to combat the rising number of influential drugs reaching young kids.
CSAC Executive Director Kristin Huisenga expressed her pride in the group’s efforts at Friday’s meeting.
“As far as we can tell, we’re one of the oldest coalitions not only in Iowa, but in the United States,” Huisenga reported. “This all started because (the original board) was concerned about youth substance use trends, and I think I can say we all have those same concerns today. That’s why we’re all in this room.”
The group’s vision has never wavered, evident by the group’s official philosophy printed in the 2018 annual report given at Friday’s meeting.
“As a result of the Clinton Substance Abuse Council’s influence, community coalitions in the Gateway area will have the support, knowledge, skills, resources, and structures they need to be successful in eliminating substance abuse and related behavioral health issues,” the report states.
Huisenga highlighted several of the group’s initiatives, including its campaign for area residents to safely turn in harmful substances, such as their excess prescription drugs, in order to keep them out of the hands of children.
One of the other various initiatives driven by the coalition, and one of the most popular, has been the “Hidden in Plain Sight” interactive display, which gives parents or guardians the chance to enter a simulated bedroom and attempt to identify new ways in which youths are hiding drug or alcohol-related items.
The project has allowed the coalition to open eyes in the community and keep caretakers up-to-date when it comes to recognizing the dangers of teen drug and alcohol use.
“We’re calling (the project) an ‘experience,’ and that’s been really cool,” Huisenga said. “We’re able to take the trailer and the project around to different schools and whatnot, so that’s been really awesome.”
April is Alcohol Awareness Month and was established in 1987 to help reduce the stigma associated with alcohol use disorder. This awareness month encourages the community to reach out and educate about how alcohol use disorder impacts individuals and supports those in recovery. It is easy to focus on the negatives of substance use disorder but people do, in fact, recover. It is estimated that as many as 20 million people are living lives in recovery today!
This year’s theme is “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow”. This April will be aimed at educating the community on effective treatment strategies, and prevention of alcohol use amongst youth, specifically. This month is dedicated to encouraging individuals with an alcohol use disorder, while others focus on prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery of alcohol-related problems. Agencies are encouraged to put on events, focusing on the impact alcohol has on communities. Additionally, the events will inform parents on how alcohol affects a youth’s developmental brain.
To launch Alcohol Awareness Month every April, the first weekend is dedicated to staying 100% abstinent from alcohol. This Alcohol-Free Weekend promotes Americans to engage in a three day alcohol-free event and asks you to find health family focused activities to do. Even if you are unable to attend any local events during the month, there is great opportunity to get involved.
Are you a social drinker? Prove to yourself you can do it! That being said if you are an individual with an alcohol use disorder, please contact ASAC for assistance. Sudden alcohol withdrawal can be deadly and it is strongly recommended that you seek medical assistance.
Just as a friendly reminder and a “did you know” moment, Iowa ranks higher than the United States’ average on binge drinking and alcohol is the continuous leader in ASAC assessments for drug of choice.
It is time for Iowa to make a change and live substance free! If you have questions or concerns about you or a loved one struggling with alcohol use disorder, please call ASAC at (319) 390-4611.