January 2017 ASAC Action Newsletter

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Introducing ASAC’s 2017 Board Leadership

We are pleased to announce the newly elected officers of ASAC’s

Nancy HumblesBoard of Directors:

President – Nancy Humbles, Retired, University of Iowa
Vice President – Jeff Lara, Senior Vice President, US Bank
Treasurer – Lance Dickson, VP Operations, Great American Leasing
Secretary – Jon Zirkelbach, County Supervisor, Jones County

Our thanks to outgoing Board President, Nancy Lowenberg, and to outgoing Board Secretary, Nancylee Ziese, for their service to the agency. Besides leaving their leadership roles, each also has completed the maximum time on the board, two three-year terms. We greatly appreciate Nancy and Nancylee’s time and commitment to ASAC.

Thanks also to Benton County Supervisor Don Frese and Linn County Supervisor John Harris. Ben Rogers will now be Linn County’s representative to ASAC’s Board. The representative from the Benton County Board of Supervisors has not yet been determined.


Advanced Emerging Drug Trends Training Offered

ASAC’s Prevention Services is sponsoring a six hour training session on Advanced Drug Trends on February 24, 2017. The trainers will be Erin Foster, ASAC Linn County Prevention Director and Curt Wheeler, ASAC Prevention Specialist.

The training will be from 9:00am–4:00pm and will be held at the Human Services Campus’s 2nd Floor Conference Room, located at 317 7th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA. Registration opens at 8:30am.

ASAC_Training_Rainbow_DaysThe objectives of the training include:

  • Understand key changes in drug culture, including marijuana, prescription drugs, heroin, W-18, and nicotine.
  • Engage in discussion on how culture can play a role in substance perceptions and use.
  • Identify steps to prevent and address substance abuse in their communities.

The training will include updates on prescription drugs and heroin and information on new drugs such as Pink, Kratom and Meth.

The cost of the training is $60. The 6.0 CEUs are pending from the Iowa Board of Certification. To register, go to our website, www.asac.us. QUESTIONS: Contact Kathy Corbett at 319-390-1884 or kcorbett@asac.us.


A Young Life Remembered

Jeff JohnstonA story told too many times, a young person dies of a heroin overdose. In this case, Seth Carnicle’s family decided to use his death to help others who are struggling with addiction.

Jeff and Prudence Johnston started a Go Fund Me Page in Seth’s memory. They raised $6000 and presented the donations at ASAC’s December Board of Directors meeting. Jeff told Seth’s story to our Board. It was a stark reminder to them that addiction is a chronic medical condition that is difficult to overcome.

Recently Jeff participated in a television news story regarding ASAC’s media campaign to get people to seek help. That addiction can happen to anyone. It is a disease that does not discriminate, that it hooks people and holds them captive like hostages. There is no cure for addiction. Treatment is about educating yourself and learning about the tools and the skills to manage it. Below is from the January 5, 2017 television interview:

“It started at a certain age that we could see it coming and like every parent out there dealing with this stuff, we had the sit down meetings,” Johnston said, “I call them the Dr. Phil sessions.”

seth carnicleJohnston’s son, Seth, was only 23 years old when he overdosed three months ago and passed away.

Before that, he had no shortage of support from his family. He had even gotten treatment at the Area Substance Abuse Council or ASAC, but the addiction took over his life.

“The helpless feeling when you’re trying to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped, that’s probably the most frustrating for us.”

“If we could communicate more before these things happen and have those relationships out there or the contacts out there before you have to tell a story like I have to tell, maybe we can save a person,” Johnston said.

The funds raised in Seth’s memory will be used to renovate ASAC’s Recovery Center’s treatment room to help others in their road to recovery. We are in the process of making the plans. Stay tuned – we will show you before and after pictures in the months to come.

We thank Jeff for his personal commitment to tell his family’s story and for his and Prudence’s generous donation to help others.


Help Us, Help Them

In this ever changing world, it is difficult to keep up with new drugs and substance abuse trends. We need your help to increase community awareness on these important issues. Each of us has our connections throughout the community and groups we belong to.  Is one of these groups a good forum to share ideas on how to keep our communities healthy and safe?

ASAC would be more than happy to set up an opportunity to help build awareness and support for the prevention, treatment and recovery of substance misuse and abuse. Topics can include the increasing youth trend of electronic smoking devices or what to look for in a kid’s bedroom or backpack that may be suspicious. We would all like to think that it won’t be my child, but knowledge is power and being prepared is even better.

Clip ArtDon’t have kids that this may pertain to? We often underestimate the impact that grandparents, coworkers or friends can have on one another.  You never know when this information might help someone.

If you would like to help us set up speaking opportunities with community groups or others, please contact ASAC Prevention Services at 319-390-1884.


Heart of Iowa Food Pantry Receives Funding

Food Pantry pixThe Anthem Foundation awarded ASAC a $5,650 grant for the Heart of Iowa Food Pantry.

At Heart of Iowa the families live in on-site apartments.  Due to the large amount of treatment programming, we provide week-day noon and evening meals for the families. The moms are, however, responsible for making their family’s daily breakfasts and week-end meals.

At program entry, if a patient does not have the financial means to purchase food for the meals not provided by ASAC, they are given a food box through the Heart of Iowa Food Panty. The food boxes are very important to the families. They remove a concern that the mom will not be able to feed her family. Meeting this need allows the patient to concentrate on her recovery knowing that food is available until she receives SNAP/food stamp benefits. Having an on-site food pantry also allows our patients to obtain emergency food without taking time away from their treatment programming to access community food banks.

ASAC relies on grants, cash and food donations to support the Heart of Iowa Food Pantry. We thank the Anthem Foundation for their support.


Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences

During the spring of 2013, The Area Substance Abuse Council began assessing different evidence based programs to implement in schools that would address Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES).  ACES were first studied in the mid-1990s to look at certain significant childhood traumas that can result in actual changes in brain development.

ACEs PyramidACEs can include: emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional neglect, physical neglect, mother treated violently, household substance abuse, household mental illness, parental separation or divorce, and incarcerated household members. These experiences in a child’s life can put them at elevated risk for substance abuse, delinquency and violence.

ASAC chose the Curriculum Based Support Group (CBSG) program to work with identified youth in schools and youth serving organizations that fit the ACES profile.  CBSG is a multi-cultural prevention program that targets male and female children between the ages of four and seventeen.  Each group session is devoted to a particular topic that has been researched to teach children resiliency such as “How to Celebrate Someone who is Unique”, “How to Handle Anger”, “What are Your Goals”, and “How to Make Healthy Choices”.  At the end of the ten week session the group will review everything that they have discussed and make a commitment not to use alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.

In Linn County, the CBSG program has been implemented at the following schools and youth serving organizations: Franklin Middle School, Roosevelt Middle School, Harding Middle School, Mt. Vernon Middle School, Metro High School, Jane Boyd, Johnson Academy, St. Luke’s LIFE, and Heart of Iowa. In Jones County, the CBSG has been implemented at Midland Elementary School.

Teachers who had CBSG implemented with their students have had positive reactions to the new program. One stated, “The CBSG facilitators provide good conversation, establish rapport, and provide community resources for students…”

If you are interested in the Curriculum Based Support Group for your school or community group, please call Erin Foster, ASAC Director of Linn County Prevention Services, 319-390-1884.


Holiday Donations Have a Positive Impact

This past Christmas season staff, community members, businesses and organizations helped make the holidays brighter for patients in our residential programs. We would like to thank:

Businesses and Organizations: Toyota Financial, IBEW #405, Allergy Partners, and Clinton Alcoholics Anonymous.

Thank YouCommunity Members: Laci Lower, Erin Pottebaum, Caren Shank, Kate Evans, Jeff Gallow, and Audrey Bradford.

ASAC Staff: Ed Laub, Laurel Merrick, Stephanie Boesenberg, Candace Seitz, Judy Keesey,  Bobbi Hehlke, Wanette Mollenhauer, Susan Wolever, Gabe Gluba, Connie McCubbin, Diana Jackson, Mary Beth Bousman, Debbie Kroeger, Lynne Peterson, Kathy Corbett, Erin Foster, Denise Bridges, Wanda Mokrey Sellers and Mindy Abbott-Stratton.

Below are a few comments from our residential patients in thanks for the donations:

“I know that the meaning of Christmas to me is presence not presents, but to my 3 year old she was so happy to have a sober mommy and a few educational gifts.”

“Thank you for the kindness and generosity that you showed during the hardest time of year for most of us. This year, because of you I was able to buy my boys exactly what they wanted for Christmas. As a single mom in early recovery, it filled my heart with so much love to know that there are still kind, loving, caring and generous people in this world. It showed me that life is worth getting sober for and to be proud of! “

“Thank you for the gifts and donations. It impacted my son and me for Christmas because we were able to open presents together and share the moment and make a memory.”

“Your generous gift donation meant so much. It made me realize that the world is not against me and that there are people who care. We as addicts are often overlooked or are looked at as a waste and you have done the opposite. Thank you again for your caring heart and generosity.”

“Thank you so much! Being here for the holidays has been very difficult for me. It was so amazing to be able to buy gifts for my boys. It totally changed the course of our holiday. It made me feel so good to be able to pick their gifts, then wrap them and give them to them. It was truly a gift to me to be given some control.”


National Drug Facts Week (January 23 – 29)

Every year the National Institute on Drug Abuse holds their National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week®, a national health observance for teens to promote local events that use NIDA science to shatter the myths drugs.  Nationally this campaign links students with scientists and other experts to counteract the myths about drugs and alcohol that teens get from the internet, social media, TV, movies, music, or from friends. It was launched in 2010 by scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to stimulate educational events in communities so teens can learn what science has taught us about drug use and addiction.  During this annual live online chat held between high school students and NIDA scientists, students from around the country ask the questions they most want answers to about drugs, alcohol, and drug use, including drug and alcohol effects, how to help friends or family that are abusing drugs, and what causes addiction. Our expert scientists give them the facts.

National Drug Facts Week imageIf you’d like more information on getting your children or students signed up, visit https://teens.drugabuse.gov/national-drug-alcohol-facts-week.

Don’t have students but want to get in on the fun of learning science based drug facts during the week?  Like the ASAC Facebook page and follow along as ASAC Prevention staff posts facts each day during the week.  Like, Comment, and Share the posts to get more people informed!

“Knowledge is Power.  Knowledge shared is power multiplied!” –Robert Boyce.


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