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A new group has been formed in Dubois County to address local issues of alcohol and drug use among youth.

The group, Dubois County Coalition for Adolescent Resilience and Empowerment Strategies or also known as “CARES” has been working to organize itself and introduce the coalition to the community.

Last night CARES, successfully engaged the audience of school officials, parents and community members to take part in the 1st community conversation of the year.CARES LOGO

Yesterday’s conversation at the Dubois Middle School cafeteria was held for the public to collectively discuss alcohol and drug use by the youth of Dubois County. Group representatives explained that their principal goal is to empower youth to be free from resorting to alcohol and drug use.

Group members, Jan Dougan and Debb Capps, guided the conversations with questions that gave space for the public to make observations of the topic at hand.

Questions ranged from describing who in the public is believed to be using drugs, when and why does this behavior start, and what does the public believe is necessary to help change youth decision in the use of alcohol and drugs.

They also spoke about the significance of changing the trend and culture wrapped around alcohol and drug use that the youth consider normal in Dubois County.

CARES representatives also described the initiation of the group back in September of 2014 as they met for preliminary discussions to form the coalition. According to their presentation the coalition progressed as they received grant funding from the Indiana Youth Institute of more than 33-hundred dollars to help host the 4 community conversation that are taking place.

Dubois County Health Department Director Donna Oeding speaks on the next stages CARES has planned in hopes of continuing the momentum of empowering the youth of Dubois County.

Oeding also touches on the importance of having youth engaged in these conversations but will have separate workshops for those who are leaders among their peers such as the Natural Helpers Program.

Oeding notes that it’s important to the CARES coalition to hear from students to acknowledge their prospective on the issue. She also adds that the data presented at the meeting is county wide information and not specifically directed to school corporations as well as an ongoing review of the data will take place as each conversation progresses.

Other upcoming CARES conversations set to take place include:

  • Wednesday, April 13th at Jasper Middle School
  • Monday, April 18th at the Southridge Middle School Auditorium
  • And Wednesday April 27th at the Tri-County YMCA in Ferdinand

For more information contact: Donna Oeding 812-481-7050 or Bill Potter 812-639-6952

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