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“Self-medicating”, the exact words that were used to explain why youth abuse substances in Linn County. But what does that mean exactly? It means people are looking for a way to escape reality, relieve mental distress, anxiety, or in their own words, “deal with mental health problems.” What does this mean for us as a community? It means we must address this issue head on. Our youth need to be learning coping skills and healthy ways to deal with what is happening in their day to day lives, not turning to substances. This is not just a youth problem either. College students and adults are struggling with mental health problems and also self-medicating.

Navigating services in our area and finding the best fit for each individual can seem like a long and difficult process. If you find yourself dealing with this issue personally or are looking for resources for a loved one, please join us on Thursday, May 5th at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. Come talk with some amazing local resources starting at 4:30 pm and stay for a guest speaker and a professional panel at 5:45 pm on the topic of mental health and substance use disorders. We look forward to seeing you there!