November 2016 ASAC Action Newsletter

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Mark Your Calendar to Attend the Festival of Trees

ITC is sponsoring ASAC to decorate a tree in this year’s Festival of Trees and Holiday Market. The Festival of Trees will take place at the Doubletree in Cedar Rapids from 10:0am – 5:00p.m. Saturday and Sunday November 19-20.

festival-of-trees-pictureThe decorated trees will be available for bidding through the event as a silent auction. There will be about 50 trees in the showcase. The proceeds from each tree sale will go to the charity that decorated the tree. The money raised from the sale of ASAC’s tree will go to purchasing holiday gifts for our residential clients.

Please mark your calendar to visit the Festival of Trees event. It is a great way to kick off the holidays!

ASAC Receives Theisen’s Grant

theisens-logoThe Area Substance Abuse Council was awarded a $1,000 Theisen’s More for You Community Grant.  Funds will be used to purchase emergency clothing and hygiene products for our CD+ clients. A number of ASAC’s youth residential drug treatment patients enter the program with little or no clothing or hygiene products. An emergency supply of t-shirts, underwear, socks, shorts, pants, and toiletries will help to provide the basic needs for these teens.

ASAC’s CD+ program serves adolescents, male and female, ages 13-18, whose substance abuse problems require the structure and support of 24-hour care. Although CD+ is primarily a substance abuse treatment program our philosophy is that substance abuse and behavior problems often coincide, and, as a result, it is beneficial for a young person experiencing problems with substance abuse to receive a combined cognitive counseling approach. We partner with Four Oaks to help clients change negative behaviors, resolve family issues, and rebuild or maintain relationships. The patient treatment plans, interventions, assignments, and length of stay are based upon each teen’s individual needs. Having these supplies on-hand helps these patients complete treatment.

ASAC thanks Theisen’s for supporting teens in recovery!

James Randall Honored

samms-pictureOn October 21st Coe College held a dedication and naming ceremony of the James H. Randall Intercultural Center.

James (known as Samm to us) was honored for his teaching, leadership and service to Coe College.

Samm served two six-year terms on ASAC’s Board of Directors. We congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition.

A Story of Recovery

king-house-signKing House, ASAC’s halfway house program for men in Clinton, recently provided services to a elderly man that was referred from outpatient treatment. The patient was residing in a care facility when he injured himself while under the influence of alcohol and was just beginning to walk again.  King House staff worked with both the outpatient counselor and care facility staff to get the patient into a primary residential substance abuse treatment facility so he could develop the basic recovery and relapse prevention skills.

After completing residential treatment the patient transferred to King House where he continued to strengthen his recovery skills and develop a positive and sober support network though the AA community. King House staff supported the patient’s recovery from a holistic prospective by helping the patient obtain a primary care provider and rehabilitation to address his physical health needs and to obtain a mental health provider to address his mental health needs; the patient had used alcohol in the past as a coping mechanism. King House staff also helped the patient with  his insurance, transportation, and SSI benefits issues. When the patient transitioned out of King House he no longer was utilizing a wheelchair; he was walking with support canes, he had supportive services in place for mental, physical, recovery, and basic needs and had almost 10 months of sobriety.

Great American Smoke Out

By: Amy Doerrfeld, ASAC Certified Prevention Specialist

gaso-logoAre you ready to become victorious over tobacco? The American Cancer Society’s annual “Great American Smokeout” event is coming up on Thursday, November 17th.  This event is an opportunity and challenge to anyone who smokes or uses tobacco to quit for one day, or better yet, for good! Those who decide to take the challenge are making an important step towards a healthier life.

In the United States, tobacco use still remains the largest preventable cause of disease and premature death. The great news is that it’s never too late to quit! The moment someone stops smoking their body begins to heal and recover. Anyone who is ready to take the challenge has the opportunity to take advantage of Quitline Iowa. This program is a FREE, statewide toll-free telephone coaching service dedicated to helping improve the health and well-being of Iowans.

To learn more about all of their services or to enroll into their program, please visit or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Remember, “Quitting Like A Champion” is possible. Take the next step and quit today!

Director of ASAC’s Heart of Iowa Named

Shar Jones has been selected as the Director of ASAC’s Heart of Iowa Mother and Child
Recovery Center.

sharjonesShar brings to the position management experience and a strong background in the substance abuse field. Over 20 years ago Shar worked for ASAC as both an Outreach Counselor and a Prevention Specialist and she recently served as the Director of the Iowa Substance Abuse Information Center. During the past two decades she worked in the areas of public health, diversity services and pharmaceutical sales and also served as the Manager of the Alzheimer’s Association; providing programming and advocacy efforts to nineteen counties.

We are pleased to have Shar back at ASAC!

City of Onslow Goes Smoke Free

ASAC in partnership with the Jones County Safe and Healthy Youth Coalition would like to recognize the city of Onslow for its recently passed ordinance prohibiting the use of all tobacco and nicotine products in its public parks. The ordinance prohibits the use of all tobacco and nicotine products in public parks. Such a measure represents a proactive approach to limiting harmful tobacco exposure, as well as a responsive move to safeguard the health of its citizens.

no-tobaccoThe ordinance, officially passed on September 12th, applies to all tobacco and nicotine products, as well as the use of electronic smoking devices, commonly referred to as e-cigarettes, in all public parks. An exception is made for those products that are prescribed for, or are marketed or designed for aiding in smoking cessation. This comprehensive language helps to safeguard against the litany of health concerns related to tobacco exposure in public places, including second-hand smoking, environmental waste, and accidental contact with tobacco-related residue by small children or animals.

For more information, or to learn about how your community’s parks can go nicotine free, please contact Jeffrey Meyers, ASAC Prevention Specialist, by calling 319-390-1884 ext. 205 or e-mailing

Sports World Visits CD+

jeff-neal-sports-worldSports World sends professional athletes to share personal life experiences with teens, helping them to recognize the consequences of their choices while challenging them with a message of hope. Jeff Neal, former NFL player with the Houston Oilers, spoke to CD+ patients on October 25. The kids liked what Jeff had to say. Following are a couple of their comments:

“I thought he was really direct, in a positive way, about making changes in our lives so we can be successful.”

“Even though he said he doesn’t have a problem with using substances, he could still relate to us about the challenges we face in our lives based on friends he had that made poor choices with their substance use and then died.  He wanted us to know that it’s possible to do things differently and deal with problems differently than besides just using or getting into trouble.”

Community Presentation on Heroin and Prescription Drugs

The topic of prescription drugs and heroin is a never ending news story nationally and locally.  Prescription drug and heroin abuse cases have inundated our emergency rooms with overdose patients and friends and families are losing their loved ones to a horrible addiction and, in too many cases, death.

rx-heroin-trainingTo help bring this problem to light and discuss what can be done in Linn County, Erin Foster, ASAC’s Linn County Director of Prevention Services, will educate the community on this issue on November 16th at 9:30am in room Beems B at the Cedar Rapids Public Library.

Please plan to attend this brief informational session to learn how this epidemic began and to discuss what we can do to help end it. One of the best ways to keep our community healthy from substances is to be informed and to stay as up to date as possible.

This free community educational event is sponsored by the Linn County Coalition for Safe and Healthy Communities and ASAC.

And the Winners Are . . .

Last month we reached out to our donors, volunteers, community partners, ASAC employees and referral sources to obtain feedback on our agency to help guide our strategic planning process. We recently held a drawing among those who participated in the surveys and the following five individuals will receive $25 Target gift cards:  Brenda Hanken, Julie Gondek, Charity Hansel, Diane Sorenson, and Sheri Hatfield. Congratulations to the winners of the gift cards and a sincere thank you to each of you who completed either an oral or on-line survey. We appreciate both your time and interest.

The responses we have received from the surveys are very important. They will help direct the strategic planning process that our agency will conduct at the end of November. We are looking forward to developing a plan that will serve as a road map for the future. We anticipate the plan will be available to the public shortly after the first of the year. Stay tuned!

Clinton Opioid Conference

ASAC is one of the sponsors of an opioid conference that will be held on December 1 at the Rastrelli’s – Tuscany Special Events Center in Clinton. The training is open to be public and is designed for healthcare professionals, nurses, physicians, pharmacists, substance abuse counselors, prevention specialists, mental health professionals, law enforcement, corrections, community coalition members, in-home service providers, school staff, policy makers and other helping and allied professionals.

The conference registration fee includes workshop materials and lunch. CUE’s are provided.  Please contact Kristin at (563) 241-4371 or for more details.





























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