Named “Coalition of the Year” by Prevention-FIRST of Cincinnati in 2007.

7 members have been named “Women of Distinction” by Dearborn County Chamber through the years.

Developed a framework for Youth involvement that has been very successful and we just had our 11th Youth Summit where our Youth Ambassadors present workshops to 8th graders. We have had our Youth win the “Student Volunteer of the Year” award given by Prevention-FIRST 5 times and 2 win runner-up in 10 years of the award. The last two years United Community Bank has donated money to cover the cost of these summits.


Reached sustainability after 5 years of the DFC grant because we were inserted in the Lawrenceburg City Budget at $100,000 for operating expenses in 2010. We were recognized by the Governor’s Commission for achieving this partnership.


We were recognized by the Department of Justice in 2007 for working with our local public access to show a documentary about methamphetamine.


We were featured in CADCA’s Strategizers for that effort and a few more through the years.


Through our grant program, we helped fund a laptop for the JCAP program and drug tests for the Probation Dept.


We worked with our former prosecutor to provide drug kits for parents when he launched his “Protect Your Family” Program.


We did a monthly radio panel discussion on drugs and alcohol for a few years and monthly columns in the local paper.


Working with the last administration, we were able to receive extra funding each year that allowed us to:

·       Double our local grant money making $120,000 available to multiple agencies for programs.

·       Help citizens seek treatment through CMHC’s Intensive Outpatient Drug Treatment Program which allowed them to work more closely with the Court Programs. $10,000 was to be used for Lawrenceburg residents and $10,000 was to be used for county residents.

·       We received $12,000 to partner with One Community One Family to form SEL3CT (South Eastern Local Community Coalitions Collaborative Team made up of the LCCs from Dearborn, Decatur, Franklin, Ohio, Ripley and Switzerland.  We were able to hold meetings and develop surveys that could be used to show what was going on in each of our counties and in the region as well.  We also worked on social marketing ideas like “Be the Wall” against underage drinking and the “Hidden in Plain Sight” project which involved a trailer made to look like a teen’s room and it showed all the places high risk behavior could be hidden.

·       We brought the documentary “The Anonymous People” to our area and helped jumpstart a vocal recovery group. We were the first organization in the tri-state area to show it.

·       We helped Challenge 2 Change (a recovery group using the CBT method) purchase books and other materials for their meetings.

·       We helped 1 Voice and Not One More receive their 501 status.

·       We held our first art show “Visualizing Addiction” and were recognized by John Hopkins University for this very unique approach to raising awareness about addiction through art.


We are asked to present at the North Alcohol Conference a few years back and Interact for Health gave us money to send 6 people including our prosecutor and one county commissioner.


Two years ago, we began working with the City of Lawrenceburg and a local Skateboard shop to provide skateboard camps for youth.  We received a grant from Dearborn Community Foundation each year to make this happen. Because the skate camp was a local landmark, some negative activity was going on there. But as the camps progressed and parents began coming down with their kids, bad behavior was being pushed out.  Also so many parents were thrilled to have an alternative activity for their children.

Interact for Health of Greater Cincinnati was so impressed with this program; they donated $500 to our Youth Ambassadors. 


We have gotten all three Mayors to issue Proclamations for Red Ribbon Week. In addition they have worked with us on different projects.  The Mayor of Greendale has gotten their city to donate money and his plan for this budget year is to get us inserted as a line item. He also worked with our Youth Ambassadors on their latest public service announcement that will play at our local 10 screen theater.

He is also involved in the Ambassadors’ Summer Screens Film Fest.  This is a competition for young people to submit their videos.  The Mayor of Lawrenceburg has been a long time champion of our agency and is a member.  He has attended many of our events and introduced us to our local alcohol industry officials.  Proximo Distillery donated $3,000 to our Skate board camp and we will be working with them on other projects as well.


We brought the Quick Response Team from Colerain Township here for training and the Mayor of Lawrenceburg immediately decided that their city would embrace this program and they began it Oct. 1. We designed the Quick Response Guide they had out and the Health Dept. was giving them free Narcan kits for the bags as well.


We hired Amy Rose to become the Youth Advisor and she is taking the framework to a whole new place. The members have increased and they are doing so very much including fundraising. Recently, they partnered with Skyline in St. Leon for “Dinner with Darth Vader” and a Dodgeball Tournament. They will be doing an event for “National Skate Day” and “Brunch with the Grinch” at Christmas time.


Their art project for last year was a comic book they designed depicting smart choice versus a wrong choice and Tony Moore, co-creator of “The Walking Dead” helped them make their vision a reality.


We have worked with our local schools through presenting on alcohol and drugs; providing speakers; and this year we have added the “Sparks” Assembly program.  This evidenced-based program is from the Search-Institute and our Ambassadors’ present their ‘spark’ to elementary grades and tell how drugs and alcohol would make them unable to enjoy their spark.


We recently partnered with Greendale Cinema again to show “Generation Found” a documentary about alternative programs for teens that are using drugs.


We have partnered with many agencies on trainings and public events to our area.  Last night, we had a Mental Health/Addiction Resource Fair where multiple agencies were present to provide the public with resources.


We had trainings specific to the faith-based and now we have some very active members from multiple churches.


We are always reaching out to entities in our community to include and partner with and now have members from the Ohio River Valley Pride Coalition.  And they are now working with one of the churches for a meeting space.


This is what CASA does; we unite people so we may all work together on the issue of substance abuse in our community.  Our membership has grown from 7 in 2004 to over 60 today with 30 of them active. We are known as the Coalition that gets things done and thinks outside the box. We know that keeping youth busy with activities is a priority and we are working with the Lawrenceburg Community Center and the Aurora Community Center to provide more options.


We know that fundraising is necessary and we have found trying to raise money for youth efforts is more successful than trying to raise money for prevention.


The state legislature was very smart to set up this system of allowing grass roots efforts in each of our counties work on this issue. As the heron epidemic is ever present, we must not forget the value of prevention efforts in stopping it in the future.


A NOTE FROM OUR Executive Director

Our History

CASA or Citizens Against Substance Abuse is the local coordinating council for Dearborn County. Every county in Indiana has one and they all were formed and operate

with the guidance of the Governor’s Commission for a Drug Free Indiana. They are funded through locally collected drug and DUI court fees. CASA has been active in this area since 1989. In 2006, they became a Federal Drug Free Community Grantee.

Our organization has grown steadily, especially in the last few years. CASA humbly began with 8 members and now we have thirty plus members who attend our meetings on a regular basis. We became a Drug Free Community Grantee in 2006 and that helped us focus on addressing youth issues in the community. We were named Coalition of the Year in 2007 by Prevention FIRST of Cincinnati. In 2012, we were recognized again by that agency for Youth Involvement.

Working with Lawrenceburg and South Dearborn High Schools’ SADD chapters as well as East Central’s FCCLA, we have held Youth Summits each year since 2008 and in 2010 we formed the Dearborn County Youth Ambassadors. Five students from all three high schools make up the group and they work very hard to address substance abuse in their peers. Every year they host a Youth Summit for 8th graders where workshops are presented on a variety of youth issues including substance abuse, suicide, self-harm and others. In the last 7 years, we have had 5 students named "Student Volunteer of the Year" and two named runners-up by Prevention First of Cincinnati.

Programs that we initiated have been highlighted in the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America Strategizers. In 2011, we became the first local coordinating council to be inserted as a line item in the City of Lawrenceburg's Budget. Both the City and CASA received recognition by the Governor's Commission for that very positive partnership. We can count 8 women who serve as members be recognized as "Women of Distinction" by the Dearborn County Chamber of Commerce through the years.

We are proud of all the partnerships we have developed in the community because we know it will take all of us to effectively change the face of substance abuse among our citizens. Each year brings new challenges and we invite you to become part of the solution.

We are proud to have many different agencies represented within our membership including: Big Brothers Big Sisters; Headstart; Interact for Health; Indiana Criminal Justice Institute; Community Mental Health Center; Systems of Care; Child Services; Juvenile Probation; Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor’s office; Superior Court I and II; Police Departments from Dillsboro, Lawrenceburg, Aurora; Dearborn County Sheriff’s Department; SIEOC, Youth Encouragement Services., Blacklist Boardshop, Adams Art & Supply, 1 Voice, C2C, Not One More, Pregnancy Care Center and many more.

Membership is open to everyone!

CASA holds it's regular board meeting the first Monday of every month at 11:30 am in the Classroom A of the Lawrenceburg Community Center at 423 Walnut Street, Lawrenceburg, IN and the executive committee meets the fourth Thursday of every month at the CMHC Plaza office. Both meetings are opened to the public unless otherwise noted.Type your paragraph here.

In the 12 years I have been with this organization, I have seen how the issue of substance abuse has changed our community. I have witnessed the changes as we shift toward a more holistic approach to the problem.


We support evidenced based prevention/education programing. We have learned the importance of the justice system providing treatment to inmates.  The importance of law enforcement getting the equipment they need to enforce the laws and people in recovery vocalizing their experiences. we have also seen treatment change to include medicine supported recovery and more outpatient programming.


I am very proud that Dearborn County is working in partnership to make our county a healthier place to live and work.


                                  -Donna Thacker

Our Accomplishments


The Mission of Dearborn County Citizens Against Substance Abuse is to provide an organization through which the community can support, plan, and implement efforts to address the problems of substance abuse and dependency in Dearborn County. The healthy development of our citizens is being threatened by the problems and challenges of ATOD use in today's culture. It is our mission to promote healthy lifestyle patterns among Dearborn County residents and to make a positive difference in the area of ATOD issues.  *(ATOD= Alcohol, Tobacco & other drugs)

Problem Statements 2017

Statement 1: Illicit use of alcohol and drugs, including marijuana create a myriad of problems for the youth of Dearborn County. 

Statement 2:  Methamphetamine use is increasing in our county. 

Statement 3:  Lack of community awareness & understanding of the available resources for substance abuse and addiction for individuals and families of Dearborn County.