Fall E-Newsletter - 2017
Scroll down to read all the articles of our Fall newsletter.
The Director's Desk
While many of us here in Wisconsin and in Washington County have been sounding the alarms about the high rate of opioid addiction and overdoses occurring in our county for some time, on August 10, 2017, President Trump declared the Opioid epidemic a National Emergency. This declaration sends a powerful message around the country and helps to raise awareness and bring attention to this crisis. However, because of the most recent natural disasters that have devastated Texas and Florida, financial resources, often released because of a declaration of National Emergency, will understandably, need to be redirected to rebuilding these states.
Nevertheless, we cannot let this hamper our efforts at the state, local or family level. Friday September 22, 2017, members of the Washington County Heroin Task Force will host a dialogue with state and local elected officials at our annual Legislative Breakfast. We plan to discuss the barriers and challenges of those working to address this crisis face. We believe that this will be the beginning of valuable on-going conversations with policy makers to address issues such as access to evidence-based prevention and treatment, including Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) and privacy and confidentiality barriers that interfere with coordination of care.
In addition, there is still much that can be done at the family level. As the parent of two teenagers, I often feel like they are not listening to me—until I hear them repeat back something I said to them a year or more ago! Just as the article for parents of college bound children in this newsletter states, parents continue to be the primary influencers of their children’s behavior—even into their college years.
As someone who has worked in the area of substance abuse for over 30 years, the number one issue that has held us back is the fact that people hesitate to talk about addiction. As devastating as this heroin epidemic is to individuals, families and the community, it has forced us as a community to acknowledge and talk about addiction, and talk, leads to action.
Push, Pull, Drag.
Yes, Sadly, We Are Talking About Our Agency Van
We need your help!
Have you seen the car sale ads where you are encouraged to push, pull or drag your vehicle into the car dealer’s lot? In trade, you’ll get a nice amount of cash and an opportunity for a new vehicle! Well, we’re not at that “push, pull, drag” point with our 1997 GMC Safari Van yet, but we’re pretty darn close! The van is more than 20 years old and it’s more than feeling its age!
Calm Harbor, our crisis stabilization home in West Bend, uses the vehicle to transport our clients to and from their doctor visits. Staff also use it to run errands like picking up groceries and other supplies for Calm Harbor residents, and, they also use it to transport clients to visit their families.
Elevate also maintains a 2004, GMC Savana. The 12-passenger van is not quite as old as the Safari Van, but it’s used to transport teens to and from work sites as part of our Restorative Justice programming. These kids have been court-ordered, in many cases, to earn money to make restitution or to pay for tickets received while engaging in high-risk behaviors like substance use and/or other delinquent actions. The van is critical to the program’s success and while it may have a little more “life” left in it, we need it to be more reliable and a lot safer! Helping these kids develop into productive adults is important to us, so, keeping them safe is our number one priority!
We are in the hunt for two new vehicles! We don’t need anything fancy or even brand new, but we do need something safe and reliable. A small SUV or a minivan would work just fine for the Calm Harbor transportation needs. A 10-12 passenger van is on our wish list for the Restorative Justice, “Project Payback Crew.”
Will you consider a financial gift to Elevate to enable the purchase of at least one and maybe two vans? At the very least, we’d sure appreciate it if you could hook us up with someone who may be able to sell us something at cost.
Give Julie Wolf a call at Elevate at 262-677-2569 or shoot her an email at email@example.com.
Annual Legislative Breakfast to Focus on President’s Call for National Emergency
On Friday, September 22, Elevate will host its Legislative Breakfast. The annual event provides an opportunity for Washington County constituents to express their concerns related to substance abuse and mental health issues and exchange ideas with local and state legislators and other community leaders.
This year, a roundtable discussion format will be followed, allowing representatives and community members the chance to freely exchange information and ideas. The goal of the event is to provide education about the opioid epidemic, share thoughts on how the president’s declaration of a national emergency could allow the executive branch to direct funds toward stemming the epidemic, and brainstorm ideas on what that could mean for local organizations and agencies within Washington County.
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel has confirmed his attendance, as have the following:
- Christopher Bossert, county board supervisor
- Janel Brandtjen, state representative
- Rob Brooks, state representative
- Kris Deiss, county board supervisor
- Bob Gannon, state representative
- Rick Gundrum, county board supervisor
- Dan Knodl, state representative
- Tim Michalak, county board supervisor, Hartford mayor
Members of the law enforcement, faith, healthcare and educational sectors are encouraged to attend the gathering, which will be held at Terrace 167, 3210 Wis. Hwy. 167 in Richfield.
The event begins at 7:30 a.m. and wraps up around 9 a.m. A light continental breakfast will be provided.
There’s still time to R.S.V.P. Please contact Ronna Corliss at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tips for Keeping Your New College Student Safe.
So, you’ve sent your son or daughter off to their first year of college! You can finally breathe a sigh of relief as they’re moved in and settled into their new home in the dorm. Tuition is paid. Classes have begun. You’re done—at least until mid-terms, right?
Well, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) these first six weeks or so of freshman year are critical, as freshmen are vulnerable when it comes to heavy drinking and alcohol-related consequences. Even though most students are not new to alcohol, student expectations and social pressures at the start of the academic year can impact the decisions they make and lead to high risk behaviors.
In addition to alcohol-related incidents, students are at additional at risk for experimenting with other substances from pot to heroin.
Research shows that students who abstain from drinking and experimentation with other substances often do so because their parents discussed alcohol and drug use and their adverse consequences with them.
Here are a few things you can do to help your new college student navigate decisions related to alcohol and other drugs during the first few weeks of college:
- Talk with your child about the dangers of harmful and underage college drinking—such as the penalties for underage drinking, and how alcohol use can lead to date rape, violence and academic failure.
- Reach out from time to time to keep the lines of communication open, while staying alert for possible alcohol-related problems.
- Watch for changes in their behavior.
- Remind your son or daughter to feel free to reach out to you to share information about their daily activities, and to ask for help if needed.
- Learn about the school’s alcohol prevention and emergency intervention efforts.
- Make sure your college student knows the signs of alcohol overdose or other drug-related problems, and how to get help for themselves and/or their friends.
The more you know, the more you can talk with your child and the more likely your new freshman is to make good choices regarding alcohol and other drugs during his or her freshman year, and beyond.
Visit one of the following sites for more helpful information: