Council Connection
News from Chautauqua Alcohol & Substance Abuse Council                                                  Summer Edition

In This Issue
CASAC Hires Two Additional Prevention Educators
As CASAC continues to grow, we introduce two new CASAC staff members:
Amy Beato,  a childhood education major from Fredonia State University, is one of CASAC's newest Prevention Educators.  She already has her New York State teaching certification for grades  K-6.  Amy is working out of the Dunkirk Office.  

CASAC is also pleased to name Alex Rodriguez as another full-time Prevention Educator.  Alex graduated from Fredonia  State 
University in 2018, with a major in childhood  education.  Alex is based out of the Jamestown Office. 
CASAC is exci ted to have both Alex and Amy on board, providing school programs throughout Chautauqua County.  Their personalities, abilities and talents will be of great value to CASAC.  Welcome, Amy and Alex!  
Free Parenting Classes Continue at M HA
The First Five Years and Active Parenting classes (for parenting children ages 5 - 12), will continue to be offered at the Mental Health Association in Jamestown.  
The First Five Years class began on  September 19th and will continue each Wednesday through October 10th  fr om 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm.  These classes are for parents of children ages birth - 5.
The Active Parenting c lass is six 2-hour sessions and will meet on Wednesday's beginning October 17th through November 21st from 12:00 pm - 2:00 p.m.  This parenting class is for parents of children ages 5 - 12.
CASAC's parenting classes continue to be offered free of charge.  For registration or additional information, please cont act Kathleen Colby at 716-664-3608.
"Today's Dating:  Is It Abusive?" Slated for Thursday
" Today's Dating:  Is It Abusive?" will be presented by Natasha Juma of The Salvation Army Anew Center this  Thursday, October 4, 2018  from 9:00 am - 12:00 p.m.  
Abusive dating is a prevalent dilemma in our society.  Although many never report having experienced abusive relationships, some may be surprised to know that the behaviors their partners are displaying are in fact warning signs of an abusive relationship.  Participants will learn the warning signs, specific behaviors, and how to help others who may be in an abusive relationship.  
Come and join us at T he Salvation Army, 83 South Main Street, Jamestown, NY 14701 for this free informational training.   P re-registration is required.  Call Kathy Colby today at 664-3608!
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of the solution!  
  CASAC offices are located at:    
501 W. Third Street
Suites 3 & 4 Sprinchorn Bldg.
Jamestown, NY 14701
(716) 664-3608
Fax (716) 664-3661
51 E. Third Street
Suite 2
Dunkirk, NY 14048
(716) 366-4623
Fax (716) 366-4624 
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  • Melanie Witkowski, Executive Director
  • Amy Beato, Prevention Educator
  • Leslie Bianco, Prevention Educator
  • Kathleen Colby,
    Director of Training Services
  • Jeff Grodecki, Fiscal Assistant
  • Tracy Jespersen, Prevention Educator
  • Susan Lepley, 
    Jamestown Office Manager

  • Jennifer Montanez, Prevention Educator

  • Kelley Potter, Coalition Coordinator

  • Laurie Reynolds,
    Associate Director
  • Alex Rodriguez, Prevention Educator
  • Afroula Snell, Administrative & Support Services Coordinator
  • Kathleen J. Stornes,
    Director of Impaired Driver Program 
  • Trish Whetstone, Prevention Educator Coordinator
  • Eric Williams, Prevention Educator
2018 CASAC Board of Directors
  • Gary Olson,  President
  • Anthony J. Raffa, Sr. ,
    Vice President
  • William Osmer,
  • C. Berkeley Adams 
  • Dr. Mary Carney
  • Carol Greco
  • Rebecca H. Haines
  • Lois Lindell
  • Jose Quinones-Visot
  • Michele Starwalt
  • Frann Wilson
  • Arnold Zdrojewski

The Prevention Educators worked diligently this summer planning and prepping for the new 2018-2019 school year for youth in grades K-12.  The eight Prevention Educators from CASAC are enthusiastic about implementing the "Too Good" Evidenced-Based Prevention Programs throughout Chautauqua County.  The "Too Good" program is designed to alleviate the risk factors in youth's life and enhance protective factors that are related to alcohol and other substances.  The key components of the program help develop and/or enhance social and emotional skills for making healthy choices, building positive friendships, communicating effectively and resisting peer pressure.    

In addition to providing programming for youth during the school day, our educators will continue providing prevention curricula in a multitude of youth agencies throughout the county.  Some of the locations include, but are not limited to, the Boys and Girls Club of Northern Chautauqua County, Salvation Army, YWCA of Westfield, YWCA of Jamestown, GA Accountability & Responsibility Program, YMCA, Dunkirk After School Programs, Brocton After School Programs, Jamestown After School Program, Chautauqua Tapestry, Cassadaga Job Corps and Chautauqua Opportunities TILP House in Jamestown and Dunkirk. 

Reaching the youth is only one strategy of prevention.  Community awareness and education to families is another critical piece to the puzzle.  CASAC continues to offer the Active Parenting Programs, at the Mental Health Association and CASAC's Dunkirk Office.    The Active Parenting programs are geared towards parents that have youth birth - teens. CASAC is thrilled to continue offering the programs for parents in the community. 

Another way that we bring awareness and education to the community is through media campaigns.  CASAC staff have diligently designed awareness campaigns for the community.  Each month a campaign will be presented to the community, in an effort to help educate families on various substances.  In October, a "Dose of Reality" campaign will be publicized to help bring awareness regarding the concerns of prescription medication use.  Area school districts and local colleges will receive infographic posters on various local statistics in Chautauqua County.  In November, CASAC will continue to educate the community surrounding marijuana with a campaign "Be Informed, It's Not the Norm."  This campaign is focused on changing the misperceptions of student use of marijuana.  Approximately 2100 students were surveyed in Chautauqua County during the 2015-2016 school year, and 77.3% of students reported that they never used marijuana. 

To end the year out, a third campaign will focus on prevention of drinking and driving.  During the holiday times is when we see an increase in DWI's and DUI's.  The campaign for the month of December is "Size Does Matter."  This campaign is focused on understanding the different drinks and the amount of alcohol in each container.  

Melanie Witkowski
Executive Director
School Prevention Programs Expand
CASAC has been quite busy implementing our Evidence-Based Prevention Programs throughout Chautauqua County School Districts! CASAC has expanded its outreach throughout the community and with the school districts. We have also increased our prevention programming by expanding the number of grades within the schools. CASAC is grateful for the initiatives that has enable us to provide these programs to our local schools. These initiatives include: STR Opioid Funding, United Way of Northern and Southern Chautauqua County and DSRIP funding. These funds have been utilized to match school programming costs.
There are several districts that CASAC is implementing programs, Kindergarten through 12 th grade. Every classroom will be receiving prevention programming in the following school districts: Cassadaga Valley Schools, Chautauqua Lake Schools, Falconer School District, and Forestville.
There are three school districts where CASAC is saturating the students with prevention programming in multiple grade levels. Brocton, Dunkirk and Jamestown Public Schools are the districts where CASAC is educating students in the most grades.
Lastly, there are several schools where CASAC is either presenting multi-session prevention programming and/or awareness presentations. These school districts include: Clymer, Maple Grove, Ripley, Sherman, Panama, Pine Valley, Southwestern and Westfield.
CASAC will continue to strive to reach our goal - where every student in Chautauqua County will receive our prevention programs. CASAC is extremely excited to be working with these school districts and excited to see the real power of prevention!
Dr. Ira Chasnoff Presents Free Community Event
Dr. Ira Chasnoff, president of NTI Upstream and a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois in Chicago will be presenting a free training this month.
Dr. Chasnoff is an award-winning author and speaker.  He is one of the nation's leading researchers in the field of child development and the effects maternal substance use disorder has on the newborn infant and child.
"Focusing on Prenatal Substance Substance" will be held on Thursday, October 25th at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel, 10 Dunham Avenue, Celoron, NY from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.  This event is open to the public and lunch will be provided.  The topics discussed at this all day event will include:  psychosocial issues and treatment implications for expecting mothers; trauma on the developing fetal and child brain; impact of exposure on the growing child; enhanced learning and managing behaviors in the exposed child; and transdisciplinary system of care for children and families.  
Continuing Ed Credits will be available for attending this training.  Pre-registration is required and must b e received by October 16th.  Early registrants will be entered into a drawing to win an autographed copy of Dr. Chasnoff's book, "The Mystery of Risk".  Please contact Nicole Kimball at 753-4117 to register.
Quinones-Visot Joins CASAC Board of Directors
Jose Quinones-Visot has been elected to the CASAC Board to serve a 
three-year term.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree in the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management in 1994 from Temple University.  
Most recently, Jose earned his Masters of Science in Organizational and Strategic Leadership in 2013 from Neumann University.  
Jose currently works for Chautauqua Tapestry as the Cultural Outreach and Engagement Coordinator/Training Facilitator.  
He has volunteered for many organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, Community Food and Outreach Center, StandUp for Kids, as well as launching his own foundation, The Visot Foundation, in 2014.  Welcome, Jose!
"Take It To THE BOX"  Campaign
October is National Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Month and CASAC's HOPE Chautauqua Coalition will focus on educating the community about the potential for abuse of medications through its campaign "Take It To THE BOX".  This campaign aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of prescription drugs.  

According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.
Permanent Prescription Drop Box location sites are available year-round at the following locations:
Jamestown Police Department,  201 East 2nd St., Jamestown
Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office,  15 E Chautauqua St., Mayville
Westfield Police Department,  27 Elm St., Easton Hall, Westfield
Lakewood-Busti Police Dept.,  20 W Summit St., Lakewood
Fredonia Police Department,  9 Church St., Fredonia
Town of Ellicott Police Department,  215 S. Work St., Falconer (Mon.-Fri. 8am-4pm)
Silver Creek Court Clerk's Office Municipal Building,  172 Central Ave, Silver Creek (Mon.-Thu. 9am-2pm),  and 
c oming soon: Westfield Community Pharmacy,  Main Street, Westfield.
"Take It To THE BOX" provides an opportunity for all Chautauqua County residents to do their part in preventing drug addiction and overdose deaths.  Remember safe use, safe storage and safe disposal!


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About Us
Since 1974, Chautauqua Alcohol & Substance Abuse Council (CASAC), a not-for-profit United Way supported agency, has provided services to prevent the abuse of alcohol, other drugs and gambling to the residents of Chautauqua County.  CASAC is the only New York State Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) approved and supported alcohol and other drug prevention agency in Chautauqua County.  CASAC is one of 40 community-based councils across New York State and one of over 200 nationwide. 
CASAC's mission is to build a safe and healthy environment by effectively educating the community on positive life choices.