July 2016 ASAC Action Newsletter

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Art Meets Function

Distance Pix of BalconyASAC engaged the services of Cara Briggs Farmer, a local metal artist, to create an artistic extension to the balcony railing of our youth residential substance abuse treatment program, CD+. This project was the final element of the capital campaign ASAC conducted to renovate the CD+ facility that is located on ASAC’s main campus, 3601 16th Avenue SW in Cedar Rapids.

The delay in adding the balcony extension was due to the difficulty we experienced in finding a design that would provide a positive, therapeutic look while also safeguarding Close up of Balconyour teen-age patients from possible suicide attempts or accidental falls.

We believe Cara of Synergy Metalworks did an excellent job in providing patient safety with style and creativity. The railing is a beautiful piece of art that provides needed protection for the teens we serve.

We are very pleased with the design and function of Cara’s metal work.


Upcoming ASAC Training: Emerging Drug Trends (Basics)  

ASAC_Training_Rainbow_DaysASAC will conduct a training session on Emerging Drug Trends on Friday, August 12, 2016, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, at the Human Services Campus, 317 7th Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids with registration starting at 8:30am. Facilitators for the training will be Erin Foster, Linn County Prevention Director, and Curt Wheeler, ASAC Prevention Specialist.

The intended audience for the session includes educators, healthcare providers, social workers, parents, and substance abuse treatment and prevention staff. Participants will learn about emerging drugs and steps to prevent substance use in their communities. The training will cover electronic smoking devises, prescription drugs and heroin, new modes of marijuana use and synthetic drugs.

The cost of the six hour session is $60 a person; $30 for current ASAC staff and interns. Lunch will be provided.  Six hours of ATOD specific CEU’s are pending with the Iowa Board of Certification.

Online registration is open until July 29, 2016. For more information, contact Kathy Corbett at 319-390-1884 or kcorbett@asac.us.


ASAC Growing Vegetables

Container GardeningLinn County Public Health provided  the materials and plants to create  container gardens for our three Cedar Rapids residential treatment programs: CD+, Recover Center and Heart of Iowa.

Cherie Duggan, Director of CD+, reports that the many of the teens find it very therapeutic to water and tend the plants and that the project  has led to an interest among some residents to learn more about gardening. The produce raised will be used in our dining program.

We thank Linn County Public Health for selecting ASAC for this healthy and fun project!


Local Bars Look to Promote Safety, Limit Liability

For over a year and a half, the Area Substance Abuse Council has been working with area bars and restaurants to aid their efforts in having safe, responsible, and proactive alcohol service. The reception has been extremely positive, with 93 assessments taking place just with Linn county businesses, in addition to work done in neighboring Benton and Jones counties. These assessments have resulted in countless changes in how bars and restaurants look at alcohol service and go about preventing underage and binge drinking. Though there remains work to do, the results have been encouraging and stand as a testament to our business community’s dedication to first class service and responsibility.

For many businesses, changes made were small but can easily make a big impact. This included a heightened awareness of intoxication and how to spot initial signs of impairment. For many of us, talk of someone being intoxicated means obvious physical signs—trouble walking, obstructed vision, and slurring of speech. Yet what many bars and restaurants are starting to understand is that, in reality, those physical symptoms are always preceded by mental impairment. By learning to better spot mental impairment, such as loss of judgement, changes in sociability, and ill-advised decision making, one can put interventions in place such as cutting off alcohol service, and providing food and water, so that those effects might be reversed or at least halted.

For the vast majority of business, liability remains of foremost concern. To serve alcohol one has to carry expensive insurance, and any misstep in over-serving or serving to minors can result in fines, loss of revenue, and even liquor license revocation. To address this, businesses were provided with a variety of suggestions to limit liability, including the use of an incident report to document any disruptive events or occasion when service either has to be cut-off or refused. While it may not seem like much at first, having things documented can mean a huge difference in terms of legal liability.

Another area that has seen dramatic improvement has been the increasing number of bars and restaurants that put service policies in writing. At the time of assessment, many managers and owners had a great deal of experience and knowledge about how to prevent or address given situations, yet such information was not always conveyed to employees, especially new ones. To address this, ASAC helps businesses formalize their already strong policies in to a policy manual that would be read and signed off by all employees. This gave the owner documentation that expectations were conveyed, and also proved to be a valuable resource for employees.

The assessments have also proved useful in that many bars are now voluntarily having their employees go through some sort of responsible beverage server training. Businesses were especially encouraged to go through the TIPS (Training in Intervention Procedures) training, an in-person training that is internationally recognized for its comprehensive curriculum dealing with all areas of responsible beverage serving. Alternatively, businesses were also encouraged to take the I-PACT online training offered by the Alcohol Beverages Division. These trainings act to both educate employees on the laws and regulations of Iowa, and empower them to apply best practices to ensure service is always done responsibly and legally.

The Area Substance Abuse Council would like to thank all businesses that agreed to undergo an alcohol policy risk assessment, and strongly encourages all businesses to examine their own policies and procedures to ensure alcohol service is being handled in the most responsible manner as possible. To schedule a risk assessment, businesses are encouraged to contact Jeffrey Meyers at jmeyers@asac.us or call 319-390-1884 ext. 205.


Support Sleep Out for the Homeless

Jump at Sky Zone between 3:30 and 8:00 pm Tuesday, August 16th to support the Linn County Sleep Out for the Homeless. 30% of your jump fee will be donated. There will also be a donation box for those just dropping by.

All jumpers must fill out an online waiver and are urged to do so in advance at: http://www.skyzone.com/cedarrapids/Online-Waiver. Sky Zone Trampoline Park is located at 5515 Council Street NE next to the Ar-Jay Center. Sky Socks are required so bring yours or $2 to buy some to keep and use on future visits.

Linn_County_Sleep_OutThe Linn County Sleep Out for the Homeless raises awareness that homeless is a local issue that affects approximately 5,000 people in our community every year. Donations to the Sleep Out are distributed to area programs serving the homeless.

ASAC’s Recovery Center and Heart of Iowa halfway house programs receive funding from the Linn County Sleep Out for the Homeless. Our halfway house programs provide housing with support services for adult men and women, pregnant women, and women with children who are in early recovery and either are homeless or do not have a home what would support their recovery.

This year’s Sleep Out is October 29th. To find out more, go to: http://sleepoutcr.org


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