Thanks for visiting the home page for Siouxland CARES About Substance Abuse. Siouxland CARES (Community-wide Awareness, Resources, Education and Support) About Substance Abuse is a community coalition comprised of 388 volunteers. Volunteers for Siouxland CARES, representing 12 community systems, contributed 10,534 hours and staff contributed 3,283 hours in 2014 to CARES programs and services. The mission of CARES is to improve the quality of life in Siouxland by eliminating the abuse of alcohol and other drugs and related violence.

What’s New?

National Prevention Week

 “The Voice of One, the Power of All”

National Prevention Week (NPW), May 17‒23, is a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)-sponsored annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues. Now in its fourth year, NPW offers organizations a golden opportunity to educate others about the relationship between underage drinking and other public health concerns.

Prevention of Tobacco Use – Monday, May 18

Everyday more than 4,000 kids try their first cigarette; and each day more than 2,000 other kids under 18 years of age become new regular, daily smokers. That’s more than 750,000 new underage daily smokers each year. If smoking continues at the current rate among youth in this country, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 will die early from a smoking-related illness. 
Quitline Iowa services are FREE and offered to youth ages 13-17 as well as adults 18+ to help them quit tobacco use.  Call 1-800-784-8669. 

Information submitted by Becky Carlson, Tobacco Free Siouxland, Siouxland District Health Dept.

Prevention of Underage Drinking & Alcohol Abuse – Tuesday, May 19

Talking To Kids About Alcohol-5 Conversation Goals

1. Show you disapprove of underage drinking.
More than 80% of young people ages 10-18 say their parents are the leading influence on their decision to drink or not drink. So they really are listening, and it’s important that you send a clear and strong message.

2. Show you care about your child’s happiness and well-being.
Young people are more likely to listen when they know you’re on their side. Try to reinforce why you don’t want your child to drink—not just because you say so, but because you want your child to be happy and safe. The conversation will go a lot better if you’re working with, and not against, your child.

3. Show you’re a good source of information about alcohol.
You want your child to be making informed decisions about drinking, with reliable information about its dangers. You don’t want your child to be learning about alcohol from friends, the internet, or the media—you want to establish yourself as a trustworthy source of information.

4. Show you’re paying attention and you’ll notice if your child drinks.
You want to show you’re keeping an eye on your child, because young people are more likely to drink if they think no one will notice. There are many subtle ways to do this without prying.

5. Build your child’s skills and strategies for avoiding underage drinking.
Even if your child doesn’t want to drink, peer pressure is a powerful thing. It could be tempting to drink just to avoid looking uncool. To prepare your child to resist peer pressure, you’ll need to build skills and practice them.

Keep it low-key. Don’t worry, you don’t have to get everything across in one talk. Many small talks are better.
SAMHSA Last Updated: 05/05/2015

Prevention of Opioid & Prescription Drug Abuse – Wednesday, May 20

Opioids (Painkillers and narcotic analgesics)  Morphine, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone and fentanyl all fall into this category. These drugs act by depressing or slowing the central nervous system, leading to slowed breathing, coma and death if too much is taken.  They can be addictive.  The CDC reports that more unintentional deaths are caused by opioids than by illicit drugs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified prescription drug abuse as an epidemic in the U.S.  Behind marijuana, prescription drugs are the second-most abused substances.   Because prescription drugs are legal to possess with a doctor’s prescription, they can be found as easily as looking in your home medicine cabinet.  Many of these medicines sit unused and unsecured and thereby are readily available. 
Prescription drug abuse is the use of a prescription medication in ways the medicine was not intended, such as:

  • Taking a prescription medicine that was not prescribed to you
  • Taking the medicine in order to “get high”—often times by taking larger doses than prescribed or by crushing a pill and then snorting the contents or by dissolving the pill in water and injecting into the blood stream.
  • Taking the medicine for reasons other than the medical conditions prescribed – such as taking ADHD medications to help with studying.

Aren’t prescription drugs safer than illegal / illicit drugs?  People may think that abusing prescription drugs is safer since the manufacturing of prescription drugs is regulated in the U.S.  or because the medicine is prescribed by a doctor.  However, this does not mean that abuse of these drugs is safer for someone who was not prescribed them or when taken in ways other than how they were intended.  Abusing prescription drugs is NOT safer than abusing illicit drugs. 
Information from the Iowa Poison Control Center.  If you have questions about these substances or think someone has taken them, contact your poison center at 1-800-222-1222.


Prevention of Illicit Drug Use & Youth Marijuana Use – Thursday, May 21
Cannabis, or marijuana, refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa, which contains the psychoactive (mind-altering) chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as well as other related compounds. This plant material can also be concentrated in a resin called hashish or a sticky black liquid called hash oil. THC is believed to be the main chemical ingredient that produces the psychoactive effect. Cannabis is often smoked in hand-rolled cigarettes (joints), pipes, or water pipes (bongs).
The short-term effects of marijuana include problems with memory and learning, distorted perception, difficulty in thinking and problem-solving, and loss of coordination. The use of marijuana increases the risk of developing cancer of the head, neck, lungs, and respiratory tract due to toxins and carcinogens. Among youth, heavy cannabis use is associated with cognitive problems and increased risk of mental illness.

According to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) (PDF | 3.2 MB), marijuana use rose to 7.5% of users aged 12 or older in 2013. This is up from 6.2% of users in 2002.
Additional NSDUH findings on marijuana include:
·  19.8 million (7.5%) people were current (past month) users of marijuana in 2013, making it the most used illicit drug.
·  Marijuana use was most prevalent among people age 18 to 25 (with 19.1% using it in the past month).
·  7.1% of people aged 12 to 17 reported using marijuana.
·   A higher percentage of males (9.7%) used marijuana in the past month than females (5.6%).

Although several states have decriminalized marijuana (for recreational or medical use), it remains an illegal substance under federal law.
Prevention of Suicide – Friday, May 22

Suicide is a major public health concern. Over 41,000 people die by suicide each year in the United States. More than twice as many people die by suicide each year than by homicide . Suicide is tragic. But it is often preventable. Knowing the risk factors for suicide and who is at risk can help reduce the suicide rate.

Who is at risk for suicide?

Suicide does not discriminate. People of all genders, ages, and ethnicities can be at risk for suicide. But people most at risk tend to share certain characteristics. The main risk factors for suicide are:

  • Depression, other mental disorders, or substance abuse disorder
  • A prior suicide attempt
  • Family history of a mental disorder or substance abuse
  • Family history of suicide
  • Family violence, including physical or sexual abuse
  • Having guns or other firearms in the home
  • Incarceration, being in prison or jail
  • Being exposed to others’ suicidal behavior, such as that of family members, peers, or media figures.

The risk for suicidal behavior is complex. Research suggests that people who attempt suicide differ from others in many aspects of how they think, react to events, and make decisions. There are differences in aspects of memory, attention, planning, and emotion, for example. These differences often occur along with disorders like depression, substance use, anxiety, and psychosis. Sometimes suicidal behavior is triggered by events such as personal loss or violence.

In order to be able to detect those at risk and prevent suicide, it is crucial that we understand the role of both long-term factors—such as experiences in childhood—and more immediate factors like mental health and recent life events. Researchers are also looking at how genes can either increase risk or make someone more resilient to loss and hardships.

Many people have some of these risk factors but do not attempt suicide. Suicide is not a normal response to stress. It is however, a sign of extreme distress, not a harmless bid for attention.

Call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone. All calls are confidential.http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org 

Promotion of Mental Health & Wellness – Saturday, May 23

Trying to tell the difference between what expected behaviors are and what might be the signs of a mental illness isn’t always easy. There’s no easy test that can let someone know if there is mental illness or if actions and thoughts might be typical behaviors of a person or the result of a physical illness.

Each illness has its own set of symptoms but some common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents can include the following.

  • Excessive worrying or fear
  • Feeling excessively sad or low
  • Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning
  • Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
  • Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
  • Avoiding friends and social activities
  • Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
  • Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
  • Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person experiences and senses things that don’t exist in objective reality)
  • Inability to perceive changes in one’s own feelings, behavior or personality (”lack of insight” or anosognosia)
  • Abuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
  • Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (such as headaches, stomach aches, vague and ongoing “aches and pains”)
  • Thinking about suicide
  • Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress
  • An intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance (mostly in adolescents)

Mental health conditions can also begin to develop in young children. Because they’re still learning how to identify and talk about thoughts and emotions, their most obvious symptoms are behavioral. Symptoms in children may include:

  • Changes in school performance
  • Excessive worry or anxiety, for instance fighting to avoid bed or school
  • Hyperactive behavior
  • Frequent nightmares
  • Frequent disobedience or aggression
  • Frequent temper tantrums

- See more at: http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Know-the-Warning-Signs#sthash.hSwOvtt5.dpuf.  

Siouxland CARES presented the Briar Cliff University Enactus Team with the 2015 beSomebody Award at Briar Cliff University on April 9, 2015.   The Team received the beSomebody award for demonstrating outstanding leadership to the initiative and for its outstanding commitment to making our community a better place to live.

Picture:  Beth Noel, President, Siouxland CARES; Marilyn Eastman, Emily Vondrak, and Mark Samuelson, Briar Cliff Enactus Team Representatives. 

TAKE 5 Minutes to Talk With Your Child

A five-minute conversation now can make a huge difference toward keeping your kids away from drugs. So, Take Five and start talking with your kids today.

If you need immediate help, call the Iowa Substance Abuse Information Center toll-free Help Line at 866-242-4111.

For more information, go to www.DrugFreeIowa.org. 

IT’S HERE!!!  The 2014 iHeart Media Parent Survival Guide is now available online. Information every parent should know! Read it today!! ParentsGuide_2014

Or download directly from the iHeart Media website at http://www.1071kissfm.com/articles/parents-survival-guide-489226/parents-survival-guide-12899289/


MYC members and Young Ambassadors  send greetings to our sponsored children, Nafissatou and Tidiane, at Bibi’s Orphanage in Mali”. 



Special thanks to Genelli Studio for taking the 2014 Red Ribbon Night photo.  And, thanks to all who participated on Monday, October 27,  2014!

  National Council on Youth Leadership Honors High School Seniors

The Siouxland Chapter of the National Council on Youth Leadership recently recognized 75 high school seniors based on their academic accomplishments, leadership roles, and the service they have provided to their school and communities.

The top 5 were:  Meghan Schenk-Elk Point-Jefferson, Torie Sykes-East High, Emily Blankers-East High, Kenten Kingsbury, and Andrew Lindquist-North High (shown).  

Rounding out the top 10 were: Nolan Niehus-Lawton-Bronson, Tucker Spears-Bishop Heelan, Gabrielle Olszenski-Gonzalez-Sergeant Bluff-Luton, and Kelsi Wilkie and Selena Rodriguez-West High. 

Additionally, Andrew Lindquist, Emily Blankers, Meghan Schenk, and Kenten Kingsbury will be attending the national Town Hall Meeting in St. Louis in October, along with student leaders from all over the United States. 

Shauna Folchert from North High was presented the Carrie Mach Community Service Award by Rick and Ann Mach. 

 The following made the Leadership Seminar and Youth Salute possible: Morningside College, Siouxland CARES, Genelli Studios, Sandy Nation, and the Siouxland Community Foundation.








The Sioux City Mayor’s Youth Commission recently honored 43 students in grades 4-7 through its Young Ambassadors Program. The program honors students who have displayed good character and have exceptional leadership inside or outside of the classroom.  Students were nominated because of their good character.  From the nominations, twelve students were selected to be mentored by members of the Sioux City Mayor’s Youth Commission beginning in September.  Those students are:

East Middle School:  Thomas Burkhart, Kathleen Burnight, Andrew Flory, Myerra Parker

Sacred Heart: Mikayla Boeshart

Mater Dei Nativity: Koby Bork, Jacob Hackett, Jacob Nichol

Sunnyside Elementary: Owen Hoak

Washington Elementary: Brett McDonald

Whittier Elementary: Myanna Parker and Devaney Speidel

This is a program of the Sioux City Mayor’s Youth Commission and Siouxland CARES.

Sioux City Mayor’s Youth Commission members decked out in green at its meeting on St. Patrick’s Day!






2013 beSomebody Award Winners

Four “Hero” Organizations Receive beSomebody Awards

Siouxland CARES announced its beSomebody awards during a Red Ribbon press conference held  at North Middle School, Sioux City, Iowa.

The criteria for this award is that the person or organization must have a commitment to making our community a better place to live and has demonstrated outstanding citizenship and contributions to the Siouxland area.

This year, Siouxland CARES has chosen four organizations to receive the beSomebody award.  The organizations receiving the 2013 beSomebody awards are theSioux City Police Department, South Sioux City Police Department, Woodbury County Sheriff’s Department and the 185th Air Refueling Wing. Accepting the award on behalf of their organization were: Captain Marti Reilly-Sioux City Police Department, Sheriff Dave Drew-Woodbury County Sheriff’s Department, Colonel David Simon, Vice Commander, 185th Air Refueling Wing, and Scot Ford, South Sioux City Police Chief. 

“It is fitting that we honor our partners in uniform during Red Ribbon Week as Ribbon Week celebrates the memory of Drug Enforcement Agent Enrique Camarena who was tortured and violently murdered in 1985 by drug traffickers while serving as an undercover drug agent in Mexico”, states Mike McGowan, President of Siouxland CARES.  “All four organizations actively participate in the Siouxland CARES’ coalition and continually work to make Siouxland a safe, healthy and drug-free community”, continued McGowan. “These agencies truly are our “heroes” as they, like Kiki Camarena, stand up, speak out, and protect us every day in order that our children will be free from the abuse of alcohol and other drugs”, concluded McGowan. 

Established in 2011, past individuals and organizations who have won the beSomebody award are:  Avery Brothers Sign Company and Bishop Heelan Catholic High School for having gone above and beyond in their commitment to the beSomebody campaign.  Individual awards have been given to Will Meier, Juvenile Court Services, and Jenni Malsam, Jackson Recovery Centers, for demonstrating extra passion when ‘no one is watching’ and helping many young stay in school and live a drug-free lifestyle. 

East Middle and Bishop Heelan Holy Cross Win Video Contest

The winners of this year’s beSomebody Video Contest were announced at a recent press conference on the Briar Cliff campus.  Sioux City East Middle School’s anti-bullying video took the grand prize and Bishop Heelan Holy Cross School was second in the recent video contest, sponsored Briar Cliff University Enactus, Siouxland CARES, and the United Way of Siouxland.

See the beSomebody tab for more information. 

Red Ribbon Week Activities Huge Success

Thank you to agencies, schools, and individuals who made Red Ribbon Week a huge success this year.  Special thanks to the Elks for bringing in Milton Creagh to speak to our youth and adults October 30, 31 and November 1st.  Milton, also known as Bigg Milt, is an international speaker and known for his fiery, hard-hitting message about alcohol, tobacco, and other drug abuse.  He is the spokesman for the Elks National Drug Awareness Program, an initiative of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.  


Community Data Available

Comprehensive Strategy recently released its 2013 Data Packet.  Click on Comprehensive Strategy Data to download the full packet of information.   

 Start Talking Before They Start Drinking


 5-8 Years Old

• Now is the time to begin explaining what alcohol, tobacco and drugs are.
• Discuss how anything you put in your body that is not food can be harmful.
• Explain the idea of addiction, that drug use can become a bad habit that’s hard to stop.
• Praise your children for taking good care of their bodies and avoiding things that might harm them.

 9-11 Years Old

• Children this age can handle more sophisticated discussion; use their curiosity about traumatic events (such as car accidents or divorces) to discuss how drugs could cause these events.
• Friends become extremely important at this time, and older children may expose your child to alcohol, tobacco or drugs.
• Rehearse scenarios in which friends offer drugs.

• “Upsetting my parents” is one of the top reasons preteens give for why they won’t use marijuana; give them permission to use you as an excuse, such as, “My mom will kill me if I drink a beer!”

 12-14 Years Old

• Adolescence is often a confusing and stressful time as teens try to figure out who they are and how to fit in. Nearly nine out of ten teens agree that “it seems like marijuana is everywhere these days.”
• Take advantage of a teen’s concerns about social image and appearance to point out immediate, distasteful consequences of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use: bad breath, stained teeth, smelly hair and clothes. Point out that alcohol and other drug use is not only dangerous, but can also lead to broken friendships, even prison.
• Also point out long-term consequences, such as brain damage, cancer, and the potential for accidents, alcohol poisoning or death.

 15-17 Years Old

• Older teens have already made decisions about whether or not to use alcohol and other drugs. Now is the time to help them continue to resist peer pressure.

• Use specific reasons to reinforce why using alcohol and other drugs is bad: addiction, birth defects, car accidents, prison.

• These students are thinking about their futures; remind them that illegal alcohol and other drug use could ruin their chances of college acceptance or embarking on their career choice.

Information from the Partnership for a Drug Free Iowa’s “Take Five” Campaign




 5-8 Años de Edad

• Ahora es el tiempo de comenzar a explicar lo que es el alcohol, el tabaco, y las drogas.
• Hable acerca de que cualquier cosa que se meta en el su cuerpo puede causar daño.
• Explique lo que es una adicción, que el uso de droga puede ser un hábito malo que es difícil de dejar.
Felicite a sus niños por cuidar sus cuerpos y evitar sustancias que puedan causar daño.

 9-11 Años de Edad

• Los niños de esta edad pueden manejar una conversación más sofisticada; use su curiosidad sobre los acontecimientos traumáticos (tales como accidentes de tráfico o divorcios) para conversar sobre cómo las drogas podrían causar estos acontecimientos.

• Los amigos son extremadamente importantes en esta etapa y los niños mayores pueden exponer a su hijo al uso de alcohol, tabaco o drogas.
• Ensaye situaciones en que los amigos ofrezcan drogas.

• “Defraudaré a mis padres” es una de las razones que los preadolescentes usan para no fumar marijuana; permítale a su hijo utilizarlo como excusa, por ejemplo, “¡Mi mamá me mataría si tomo una cerveza!”

 12-14 Años de Edad

• La mayoría del tiempo la adolescencia es una etapa confundida y estresada cuando los adolescentes tratan de encontrar quiénes son y cómo pertenecer a un grupo.  Casi nueve de diez adolescentes están de acuerdo que “parece que la marijuana está en todas partes hoy en día”.
• Aproveche las preocupaciones de los jóvenes sobre la imagen social y apariencia para precisar las consecuencias del uso de alcohol, tabaco, y marijuana: mal aliento, dientes manchados, mal olor en el cabello y en la ropa.  Precise que el alcohol y el uso de drogas no sólo es peligroso, sino también termina con amistades y puede llegar a ser encarcelado.

 • También explique las consecuencias a largo plazo, por ejemplo daño al cerebro, cáncer, y el riesgo de sufrir accidentes, envenenamiento de alcohol o incluso la muerte.

 15-17 Años de Edad

• Los jóvenes mayores ya tomaron la decisión de consumir o no alcohol y otras drogas.  Ahora es el momento de ayudarlos a resistir la presión social.

• Use razones específicas para reforzar porqué el uso de alcohol y otras drogas no es la decisión correcta: adicciones, defectos de nacimiento, accidentes de vehículo, y encarcelamiento.

• Estos estudiantes están pensando en su futuro; recuérdenles que todo el uso de alcohol y drogas ilegales pueden arruinar su oportunidad de ser aceptados en la universidad o emprender en la carrera de su opción.

Information from the Partnership for a Drug Free Iowa’s “Take Five” Campaign

You Tube Contest Winners

Congratulations to Bishop Heelan High School and North High School for winning the local YouTube contest.  Each team won $250.  beSomebody!!!