Citizens Against Substance Abuse or CASA is the local coordinating council for a drug free Dearborn County, Indiana. Since 1989, committed and active Dearborn County citizens have been improving lives through substance abuse awareness. 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.
Working with Lawrenceburg, East Central and South Dearborn school districts we have held Youth Summits each year since 2008 and in 2010 we formed the Dearborn County Youth Ambassadors. Students from all three high schools, private schools and homeschoolers make up the group and they work very hard to address substance abuse in their peers.
The Youth Summit is the pinnacle of our Youth Ambassadors work. All the Youth Ambassadors prepare 20 min workshops individually or in groups of 2 on topics such as “Drugs and alcohol”, “Dating” “Online responsibility” “” Peer pressure” and other topics as decided by the youth themselves. These workshops are presented to 8th grade students from each school district in Dearborn County as a way to spark conversation and awareness on topics that may not be openly discussed. The Dearborn County Youth Ambassadors are so active and the Summits reputation so wide reaching that we have had 6 student volunteers of the year and 2 runner ups honored by Prevention First of Greater Cincinnati!
The Summit is held at Ivy Tech Riverfront Campus during an entire school day. It is completely Youth led and organized. This peer to peer style of sharing information about substance abuse and has garnered us the following statistics from our local Youth. In 2015---- 30 day alcohol use in 12th graders in Dearborn County went from 23% to 20% and Binge drinking in those same students went from 10.6% to 9.6%. This data was collected electronically though a survey we did in conjunction with the local school districts. 98% of the Students who participated in the Summit last year reported (through surveys) that it was a good use of their time and they learned valuable information that they could use in their daily lives.