Using SBIRT for Substance Abuse Prevention Improves Overall Health

By Carol Hopp |

Alcohol abuse or dependence costs the U.S. economy $185 billion each year.  This is more than double what the USDA recorded was spent on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, previously known as the food stamps program, in 2013.  More concerning is that, even with spending this large  amount, out of the estimated 23 million Americans that need treatment for a substance use disorder, only 10% actually receive services. One of the reasons for this gap in treatment is the lack of diagnosis. There is some good news, however. The Iowa Department of Public Health has identified an evidenced-based program to help identify, reduce, and prevent misuse, abuse, and dependence on alcohol and other drugs.  It’s called SBIRT: Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment. The program consists of: Continue reading

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A Night At Holiday Lights I Didn’t Expect

CIMG0895By Deborah Jacobi, Associate Director |

Not surprisingly, the drizzle on our first Monday night during Holiday Lights wasn’t a big draw.  I trust our 29 cars enjoyed being able to take their time enjoying the Lights.  It was a slow night with a surprise. Continue reading

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Tom Massman Construction Sets Example For Honoring Customers and Supporting Youth Mentoring

massman-donation 2014-01

Tom and Barbara Massman of Tom Massman Construction, have come up with a unique idea for giving back to their customers this holiday season.

As a thank you to each of their 2014 patrons and as an investment in the futures of local children, they have chosen to give to Youth Mentoring at Helping Services for Northeast Iowa.  The Massman’s made a monetary donation in the name of every patron of the past year. These gifts will be used to connect youth with a role model, helping them aspire, achieve, and develop to their fullest potential.

Pictured left to right: David Runyon, Executive Director of Helping Services, Kathy Schwartzhoff, Mentoring Coordinator, Tom Massman, Barbara Massman, and Travis Massman.

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Try to “Weed” through the marijuana messages out there!

Marijuana Poster_Page_1By Carol Hopp |

Society is always changing directions in terms of what is acceptable and what is not. We hear about the best ways to raise our children, the best plan to make healthcare affordable for everyone, and the best people to be in public office. Another hot topic is marijuana. Is it the best move to make it legal? Is it safe? Is it healthy? Is it medicine? How will it affect our childrens’ future? These tough questions must be asked and answered before society decides what to believe.
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Ways to Stop the Deadly Trend of OTC and Prescription Drug Abuse

By Jenny Stolka |

Over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs are increasingly abused because they are available and easily accessible to all ages. If each of us takes the opportunity to educate ourselves, we can begin to affect this progressive, scary, and deadly trend of over-the-counter misuse and prescription drug abuse. Continue reading

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Prevention Newsletter | Winter 2014

Domestic violence harms not just the abused person but society as a whole.

This is why Helping Services strives to bring awareness to this crime, the factors that increase the risk of abuse, and the long-term impact it has on families and communities. The media attention given to NFL running back Ray Rice and his wife, Janay, has compelled us even further to address the seriousness of this crime. In this newsletter, we specifically examine the undeniable impact it has on children. We also highlight how each of us can support survivors and help prevent domestic violence. This includes simply being informed, holding abusers accountable, and doing as much as possible to limit the factors, such as substance abuse, that can contribute to domestic violence.

We Blamed Her | By Kristi, Victim Advocate

Transition and Resilience | By David Runyon, Executive Director

Is Drinking and Driving Our Only Concern? | By Carol Hopp

Never Hit, But Deeply Harmed –Children and Domestic Violence | By Marcia Bannister

Online Domestic Violence Training: The Wave of the Future | By Renee Matt

Secrets to Teaching About Coping Skills and Healthy Relationships | By Ellen Krogmann

Be Part of the Fabric in 2015 | By John Kelly, Board President

What Twitter Taught Me About Domestic Violence | By John Kelly


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We Blamed Her

Photo used with permission.

By Kristi, Victim Advocate

Domestic violence, a crime generally committed behind closed doors, is often shrouded in silence. People may think, “Domestic violence won’t happen to me.” In fact, statistics show it can happen to anyone. Mostly women are the victims of domestic violence; however, men can be victims, too (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). And domestic violence does not just hurt the victim—it also affects the children. Three to ten million children in this country will have witnessed domestic violence this past year alone ( Continue reading

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Transition and Resilience

Kincaid Park Sunburst

By David Runyon, Executive Director |

Something about the transition from fall to winter produces alternating feelings of melancholy and uplift. The warm weather and the growing season ends. Crisp nights turn to warm golden day. Rich smells of autumn surround a run through the leaves, Bone-seeping cold advances, and old joints creak. Expectations grow for approaching holidays along with a delightful feeling of being alive. Continue reading

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Is Drinking and Driving Our Only Concern

Beer shot by Erin

By Carol Hopp |

Selling or serving alcohol to someone who is or appears intoxicated is illegal in Iowa. But denying someone a beverage is far from easy. Intoxicated people can become intimidating, aggressive, argumentative, and irrational. However, the decision to cut someone off could not only prevent injuries or death from drunk driving, in some cases, it could keep a potential victim safe from an episode of domestic violence.

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Never Hit, But Deeply Harmed — Children and Domestic Violence Part II

mother and son bump noses by sean dreilinger on flickr 9.9.2005By Marcia Bannister |

Part II | Tips for Processing and Healing

Domestic violence does not have to be a life-long haunting memory for children. Most children that have secure, healthy relationships with caring adults, whether it is their parents, grandparents, teachers, or other care providers, are able to overcome the memories. Families that participate in strength-based family services, such as Parents As Teachers family education, youth mentoring, or domestic violence advocacy, enhance their parenting skills and see positive outcomes. As a family member or friend, you can also be part of a child’s support system for when they are in tough situations. Continue reading

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