March 2016 ASAC Action Newsletter

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Upcoming ASAC Training: Group Facilitation Strategies  

ASAC_Training_Rainbow_DaysThe Group Facilitation Strategies training session will be held on Friday, April 15th, from 1:30pm – 4:45pm, at ASAC’s Cedar Rapids Prevention Building; 3536 18th Ave SW.

The training facilitator is Leslie Mussmann, ASAC’s Clinton & Jackson County Prevention Director.

The objectives of the training include learning strategies for meeting, group and class facilitation, identifying strategies to increase participation and involvement in groups, and learning skills to effectively manage groups. The training was created for educators, social workers, human service providers, substance abuse treatment counselors and prevention specialists.

The Iowa Board of Certification has approved this training for 3 hours of general CEUs. Cost is $30 per person; $15 for current ASAC staff and interns. Please visit ASAC’s website to register. Class size is restricted to 30 participants. Please register by April 1. Please direct questions to Kathy Corbett at 319-390-1884 or

In May the training session will be Stages of Change and Readiness. The 3 hour session will be held in Cedar Rapids on Friday May 13th. For details, visit ASAC’s website.

Live Healthy Iowa Challenge


Halfway through the 10 week Live Healthy Challenge, the I Like to Move It, Move It team is leading the 4 ASAC teams in the Live Healthy Challenge that started January 25 and will end April 1st. The Live Healthy Iowa challenge provides an opportunity for ASAC employees to improve their health while engaging in fun, friendly competition.

To date the I Like to Move It, Move It team has accumulated 6873 activity minutes. Members of the I Like to Move It, Move It team include: Lindsey Ungs (Captain), Erin Foster, Melissa Walker, Kathy Corbett, Pat Stammeyer, Laurel Merrick, Kelly Schmidt, Tiffany Boyle, and Mel Hartz.

We will continue to track the progress of ASAC’s teams and in April we will announce who is the Winning Team! Stay tuned!

Donation Needs

PencilsWe utilize crafts in our residential treatment and child care programming and are in need of paints/brushes, crayons, colored pencils, colored paper, blank journals that can be decorated, beads for making bracelets and small wooden craft kits.

If you have items to donate please drop them off at any ASAC office. An in-kind donation receipt will be provided for tax purposes.

Support Provided for Heart of Iowa Moms

HeartOfIowaLogoASAC has been awarded a three year grant from the Iowa Department of Public Health to provide support services to Heart of Iowa clients who are pregnant or who have children less than one year of age. Examples of support services include assistance with education/vocational training, purchasing personal care/clothing, and sober living activities.

The grant also provides for training for Heart of Iowa staff to help them to better meet the needs of pregnant and post-partum women in Heart of Iowa’s Mother and Child Recovery Center.   Recently five staff members attended a training session on Seeking Safety. Seeking Safety was specifically created to help survivors with co-occurring trauma and substance use disorders.  The treatment approach does not require clients to delve into emotionally distressing narratives. Instead it helps clients envision what safety would look and feel like in their lives and help them to learn specific new ways of coping.

Heart of Iowa is excited to be involved in this new venture.

Like Magic?

Mark your calendar for Saturday, April 16th.  From 4:00pm to 5:30pm the I.B.M. #327 Mombo Ring will be putting on magic show at the Cedar Valley Bible Church, 3636 Cottage Grove SE, in Cedar Rapids. Tickets are $5 for an individual and $10 for a family. All proceeds will benefit ASAC’s Heart of Iowa Mother and Child Recovery Center. Tickets are available at any ASAC office or you can purchase your tickets at the door. Doors open at 3:30pm.

Please help us promote the event by telling your friends and neighbors and posting the flyer in your workplace.

Spring Break Safety:

Activities Can Bring Danger, Increased Risk

By Jeffrey Meyers, Certified Prevention Specialist

After a long winter, especially an Iowa winter, there is nothing more refreshing than warm temperatures, sunshine, and fresh clean air. Add to that time off, and you have a combination that can’t be beat. For many high school and college students, this describes Spring Break. It’s a time to refresh, unwind, and relax before the stress of school returns. Unfortunately, Spring Break has become nearly synonymous for some to mean binge drinking, drug use, and other risky activities that can transform a time for fun in to a time of danger.

When it comes to Spring Break, what perhaps is the greatest risk to students is binge drinking. Binge drinking simply means the consumption of excessive alcohol in a short amount of time. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), this translates in to about 5 drinks for men and 4 drinks for women over the course of two hours. For a lot of college students, this is not difficult to reach.

SpringBreakBinge drinking, it turns out, especially in the college age demographic, is rather widespread. The NIAAA found that nearly half of all college students engage in binge drinking, an astounding number. Binge drinking during Spring Break is even more pronounced. Startlingly, the American College of Health found that “the average male reported drinking 18 drinks per day and the average female reported up to 10 drinks per day during spring break,” levels which are unquestionably risky.

Binge drinking is dangerous, and for more than just a few reasons. Alcohol, as a depressant, has a litany of effects on the body. One extreme example is that of alcohol poisoning, which can occur with severe binge drinking. In this case the body’s nervous system can become so slowed down that breathing can stop all together, potentially leading to death. Alcohol has strong depressant effects, which slow the body’s rate of functioning, making it harder not only to process information, but also impairing fine motor skills and reflexes.. It can also lead to vomiting, confusion and even bouts of unconsciousness. Longer term consequences can include high blood pressure, liver disease, and neurological damage.

While alcohol tends to get the bulk of attention during Spring Break, drug use also remains a problem. For some students, occasions like Spring Break can lead to experimentation with a number of substances. What seems to predominate during times like Spring Break is MDMA, also known by ‘Molly’ or Ecstasy. Often thought of as a party drug because of its widespread use during dance parties or raves, MDMA is a very dangerous substance that acts a stimulate, inducing feelings of euphoria but also dehydrating the body, impairing the brain’s decision making process, and leading to a number of other effects including depression, memory problems, blurred vision, and general irritability or aggression.

Alcohol and MDMA are hardly alone when it comes to what substances can present problems to students. Any drugs, including improperly taken prescription drugs, can lead to health consequences and poor decision making. Those poor decisions, such as driving impaired, fighting, or irresponsible sexual activity can have lifelong implications. For this reason it’s important to stress to students to have fun, but to be responsible. Don’t use this as an occasion for drug use, and irresponsible alcohol use. Choosing what you put in your body is a big step in staying safe, and having fun.



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