Forest County has once again proven that it is ahead of many other Wisconsin counties in the area of substance abuse prevention.
In a virtual ceremony on July 1, 2020, Marshfield Clinic Health Systems Northwoods Coalition, a conglomerate of community coalitions dedicated to substance abuse prevention, presented four awards to The Community Coalition of Forest County (CCFC) and their members:
Prevention Coalition of Excellence Award
To CCFC for significant improvements to a community in the area of prevention. The CCFC has long brought passion and drive to the many prevention programs and community partnerships in which they have been involved.
Innovative Prevention Program
To CCFC for their participation in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) 2019 Prevention Week held May 12-19, 2019.
The week included a Prevention Parade, a Recovery Walk, and a cookout that included speeches from local authorities. All of these events engaged community youth and both local tribes, Forest County Potawatomi and Sokaogon Chippewa.
Outstanding Prevention Professional Award
To Jorge Cisneros for his strong passion to make a difference in people’s lives. Jorge has changed lives by sharing his own personal story about recovery and continues to promote “Good Medicine” and using cultural ways to help people heal.
Jorge works tirelessly to lead planning for prevention events, and represents the Forest County Potawatomi Tribes prevention efforts in Coalition meetings. He initiated “See Something/Say Something, Stop the Dealing, Start the Healing,” and worked with the jail population to teach and advocate for resources to help people successfully transition into the community.
AmeriCorps Member of Distinction
To Elizabeth Mary Thornton for serving two terms as a Marshfield Clinic Health Systems AmeriCorps Recovery Corps recovery coach for the Community Coalition of Forest County. Her accomplishments include supporting many community events, being an advocate to help people make positive changes in their lives, assisting Laona School’s Guidance Counselor Jason Bertrand with the implementation of the BOTVIN LifeSkills program, and helping form a transition team to address the needs of the jail population. She continues to serve in her community and has signed on for another year of service for CCFC.
Congratulations to this amazing group of individuals and community members!
MORE ABOUT THE COMMUNITY COALITION OF FOREST COUNTY (CCFC)
The CCFC) is a 501 (3) (c) Non-Profit Organization that was formed in 2008 for the purpose of informing and engaging all age groups and cultures in our diverse county in a collaborative effort to measurably improve the health and well-being of our residents with a focus on substance abuse and prevention. The CCFC meets the second Tuesday of each month at 1:30 p.m. Currently these meetings are virtual due to Covid-19.
In a 4-part video series offered by the Community Coalition of Forest County we are focusing on:
-understanding mental health and mental illness
-understanding addiction and current drug use trends in Forest County and Wisconsin
-understanding trauma and stress its impact on youth and adults
-wellness and stress reduction activities and local mental health resources.
We will be calling on local people and professionals from Forest County to share their knowledge, experience, and resources. In this first video of this series Lynn McCorkle of Crandon and Mary Thornton of Laona help us to understand the components of mental health and recognize signs that we or others in our life are struggling and may need help
The Community Coalition of Forest County is excited to announce it is sponsoring a 2020 Prevention Poster Contest. The theme of the poster contest is “What a Healthy Forest County Looks Like” and is open to all Forest County youth ages 5-18.
Due to the generosity of our Coalition partners, cash prizes will be awarded to youth in four communities: Armstrong Creek, Crandon, Laona and Wabeno. Entries need to be submitted online. If you need assistance submitting the artwork online, please contact Michelle Gobert at 715-478-5908.
When our lives are turned upside down, a to-do list can bring a sense of calm and control. University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension Specialists and Educators have created Stay at Home Tips on topics ranging from parenting a teen grieving with the loss of school activities, to connecting with isolated family and friends.
Why should you talk to kids about alcohol? Underage drinking is a real problem in Wisconsin, and it starts earlier and can be more dangerous than you might think. But parents, loved ones, and other caring adults can make a real difference. All you have to do is talk. That’s right. Having small, casual conversations with kids, starting around age eight, can help prevent underage drinking.
Know the consequences
There’s a reason the legal drinking age is 21. It’s to keep our children healthy and safe. When youth drink alcohol, they can damage and even block the development of healthy mental pathways in the brain that shape how kids feel, learn, behave, and grow. Damage like that can have lifelong physical, social, and emotional consequences.
Alcohol affects young people more powerfully than it does adults, and drinking before the brain and body are fully developed can have dangerous effects.
Underage drinking can change the way the brain develops and functions.
Alcohol can shut down new brain cell growth.
Drinking can damage the parts of the brain responsible for learning, memory, and self-control.
Alcohol can alter a child’s motor skills.
High levels of alcohol in the body can shut down those parts of the brain that control breathing, heart rate, and body temperature.
Heavy alcohol use can increase the risk of liver disease, heart disease, and seven different cancers later in life.
Young Drinkers Can Take Costly Risks
Underage drinking has serious consequences for a young person’s life, affecting everything from their behavior and relationships to their long-term health.
17% of kids who drink have been in a car with a driver who’d been drinking alcohol.
There’s always a risk that substance use may lead to addiction.
Drinking can lead to issues at school, with friends, and with the law.
In the U.S., alcohol landed 119,000 underage drinkers in emergency rooms in 2013 alone.
Underage drinking is associated with a higher risk of physical and sexual assault.
Alcohol is linked to mental health problems
As young people transition from childhood to adolescence, they experience dramatic social and emotional changes. Adding alcohol to the mix can be devastating.
Underage drinking often goes hand-in-hand with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide.
Each year, about 300 young people die in alcohol-related suicides.
Research shows that waiting to start drinking alcohol is one of the most effective ways to prevent the development of a substance use disorder later in life.
Underage alcohol use is associated with youth who struggle with mental illness.
Most underage Drinking is binge drinking
Loosely defined as having four or five drinks in just two hours, binge drinking is especially dangerous for children.
Around 90% of underage drinking is binge drinking.
Because most underage drinking is binge drinking, young people are more likely to experience alcohol poisoning.
Youth don’t drink as often as adults do, but when they have access to alcohol, they usually drink more than an adult would.
Binge drinking lowers inhibitions at a time when young people are already eager to take risks.
Small Talks: Start Talking, It Makes a Difference
Think kids won’t listen? Think again. Research shows that parents and other caring adults are the most powerful influence on children’s choices about underage drinking. That means you can make a real difference, especially if you start early. Don’t worry; it’s easier than you may think. We can show you how.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, when social distancing and self-quarantine are needed to limit and control the spread of the disease, continued social connectedness to maintain recovery is critically important.
Locally, in Forest County, if anyone is needing an AA meeting, the mnogishget group of Alcoholics Anonymous is an open meeting. We meet Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Sunday nights at 7pm on Zoom. If you have any questions, please contact Donald Keeble at 715-889-6709 or through his Facebook page for the meeting ID.