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)

Problems Being Addressed By C.A.S.A

Alcohol creates a myriad of problems for youth.

Community norms support casual and accepting attitudes toward the misuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

Both youth and adults continue to abuse prescription, heroin and over the counter drugs. 

Lack of community awareness and understand of the impact of substance abuse and addiction on individuals and the quality of life in Dearborn County.