This Substance Abuse Coalition may be local, but its message -- and mission -- applies to the entire country. Then again, there's not one section of the entire country that isn't somehow being affected by substance abuse.
But does a problem's omnipresence -- and persistence -- mean we should give up? Of course not! And there are legions of Americans who won't stop fighting till the battle is won. That includes the great good folks at the Kenosha County Substance Abuse Coalition (KCSAC).
The Kenosha County Substance Abuse Coalition
The Kenosha County Substance Abuse Coalition (aka Save Lives Kenosha) was brought into being on the eve of the new Millennium. The Coalition was formed specifically to address perinatal substance abuse, but since then its role has expanded to include the entire family. We found out about KCSAC via Kenosha News reporter Jill Tatge-Rozell, who did a deep dive on the Coalition's illuminating podcast. (see below)
While KCSAC focuses on family, it addresses every imaginable facet of addiction. And it does so "by supporting networking, encouraging education, exploring gaps, and realizing solutions" among a Coalition that includes 15 of the community's most active organizations. agencies and individuals. In other words, KCSAC's reach is deep. It's also robust. And as you'll see, it's rather impressive as well.
Kenosha County Substance Abuse Coalition Members:
- Elizabeth Reynolds (Individual)
- Advocate Aurora Health Kenosha
- Community Impact Programs
- Department of Corrections
- Hope Council on AODA
- Kenosha County Division of Children and Family Services
- Kenosha County Division of Disability and Aging Services
- Kenosha County Division of Workforce Development
- Kenosha County Division of Health
- Kenosha Human Development Services
- Kenosha-Racine Chapter of Oxford Houses
- PSN Family Resource Center
- Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency
- Shalom Center
- WGTD Radio
Avoiding the Addiction Affliction
The Kenosha County Substance Abuse Coalition's podcast is called Avoiding the Addiction Affliction. It launched last August, and as Tatge-Rozell writes, it includes personal stories of addiction, as well as useful and pertinent information from an array of local experts.
"The podcast is about getting people to feel more comfortable just hearing these messages," said Hope Council Executive Director Guida Brown, who's also a member of the Coalition.
Brown also said she hopes listeners will realize they've got a responsibility to act on behalf of someone who's suffering from drug and/or alcohol addiction. If said someone happens to be them, then she hope they'll realize they've got a responsibility to themselves. Brown also makes sure folks realize that they are not alone and that help is widely available.
Mike McGowan serves as podcast host. McGowan might best be known for hosting KCSAC's "Uncomfortable Conversations" training program. Considering he's well-regarded throughout the addiction treatment community -- not to mention well-versed in the subject -- McGowan makes a perfect podcast host. McGowan also tackles a wide variety of spot-on subjects. In fact, the podcast's episode list reads like a "What's What" in How to Battle Addiction.
Avoiding the Addiction Affliction: Episode Highlights
"What’s a Mother to Do?" Katie Oatsvall is the executive director of Kenosha Area Family and Aging Services. Here she discusses how a mother navigated a son's seven-year journey through addiction without "a step-by-step" guide.
"Changing Direction, Families, and Substance Abuse" Floyd Asonwha is a retired Kenosha Unified School District counselor and Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Prevention specialist. Here he discusses families coping with substance use disorders.
"All Rise" Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Mary K. Wagner discusses the impact substance use has had on the individuals, families, and children she has seen come before her over the course of a distinguished and storied career. Judge Wagner has served on the Circuit Court for 30 years and she'll be leaving the bench at the end of her current term.
"Out of the Darkness" Gianna Anderson and Ryan Deglow discuss medication-assisted addiction treatment options for opiate abuse. Anderson is a public health nurse with Kenosha County Division of Health, and Deglow is the supervisor at the Professional Services Group Comprehensive Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program/Opiate Diversion Program.
"Higher Education" Marcy Hufendick is program director and senior counselor at the University of Wisconsin Parkside. Here she discusses the role universities play in addressing on-campus substance use and abuse. As universities attempt to keep instruction and campus life as normal as possible during the pandemic, substance use and partying have contributed to a change in how college students experience college life.
“A Gift for Myself” Ruth Donalds talks about the "Loved Ones" program. The Hope Council’s support group focuses on education and practical strategies that concerned others can use to reclaim their lives and regain their own happiness while endeavoring to get loved ones into treatment.
Heralding Kenosha County's Substance Abuse Coalition
Recovery Boot Camp heralds the Kenosha County Substance Abuse Coalition for its united and unwavering commitment to battling addiction in its community. Its extensive membership shows Kenosha County to be a caring and empathetic place. It also serves as a blueprint other communities would do well to follow. The same applies to Avoiding the Addiction Affliction. KCSAC's podcast is as robust in subject as the Coalition is in membership. That means it too is a blueprint others would do well to heed. In fact, we can't find anything missing from the Kenosha County Substance Abuse Coalition, except perhaps our applause. Now the Coalition has that as well!
The only thing left to say is please keep up the great good work!