“I have seen how alcoholism and drug addictions destroy individuals and families. The Council
creates an awareness, provides education, and offers resources which aid in the prevention,
intervention and recovery of these illnesses. Drug prevention saves lives, reduces social costs,
and we all benefit. It's a win-win.”
-John Mogk, CFP
“I support the Council because of its impact informing the public on the dangers of alcohol and other
drugs in the community. Because of the Council’s efforts, I am seeing an increasing awareness among
teens, young adults and adults regarding the educational and social consequences of alcohol and drug
abuse. Let’s ensure the prevention message gets out to everyone!!”
Gateway Drug Prevention
- The best thing about being involved in [Council’s program] was being a role model to the students, and showing them that it wasn't cool to drink alcohol…[it] helped me realize that I can impact other peoples lives. I had friends who quit drinking, because of the campaign. When they thanked me, it opened my eyes and showed me that I can make a difference. I had the chance to meet new people, learn about their views and ideas, and have an impact on the student body. – Sarah, Dallas ISD
- [The program] strengthened my beliefs against drinking and was just a way for me to know that I can make a difference and do something positive that can change my school. Many students thought that it was normal for their peers to drink, almost like an “everyone does it” attitude. However, with a survey and the stats compiled from it, the campaign drew attention to the fact that the norm is for students not to drink. It was really cool to be in something that I personally believe in. I have been telling my friends that drinking is stupid and not worth it for too long, and it was great to be backed up with facts about our school. – Lesley, Dallas ISD
- Being in the [program] gave me the hope that there are some people out there who share the same values and ideas that I have and to bring that to the table with other individuals is the making of something that can create change in this time and society. The [program] really helped me to voice my opinion and ideas when it comes to discussing future plans and alternatives to better the subject of the matter. Now I’m not afraid to speak my mind… [my school] has become a better school; it has allowed us to bond and interact with others that we have never even spoken to until now and that’s true effort to become a great team. I’m just looking forward to what next year’s campaign ideas are going to be and how we can change the opinion of others about underage drinking in high school and how to better our community too. – Brooke, Dallas ISD
- Being given the chance to influence my peers’ decision-making process in both a creative and positive fashion was an experience that was extremely gratifying. Besides making many great friends, through [the program] I have learned how accessible change really is. I now feel that I can make more of a difference…The level of awareness about the actual amount of alcohol use in the school was raised astronomically. [The program] really was a great opportunity for me personally- not only was I an instigator of change at my high school, I also was given the opportunity to make a video in the process. Expressing myself creatively to the whole student body while also changing their perceptions about alcohol use was one of the best parts of my senior year. – Dylan, Dallas ISD
- ...and there are many, many more Gateway Drug Prevention success stories...
High Risk Youth Prevention/Intervention
- “First I want to start off by saying ‘Thank You.’ These words don’t describe how much you have changed the lives of my daughter and entire family."
- “You are truly heaven sent. I pray every night that you impact others as you have us. Please remember that one chance meeting with [my daughter] has changed our lives forever.”
- “For several years we have been fortunate to participate with [the Council’s] Project Toward No Drug Abuse program. The facilitators are trained and use their expertise opening formerly shut doors to connect with adolescents who have been making poor behavior choices. Teen drug/alcohol use is wide spread and must be dealt with on a daily basis. The facilitators are present and available to the students. They become active in decision making processes as well as serving as role models. I wish we could have two full time facilitators instead of having to share the one we have with another school. The time and money spent on this project will reap bountiful harvest in strengthening the future of these troubled teens. They have a better chance to become productive citizens through the love, care and progress demonstrated in these programs.” Sharon Phares, Lead Teacher, Irving ISD Secondary Reassignment Center
- “This program helped me want to go to school more.” – Uriel, a student participating at a Gateway to College event
- “[The program] helps me understand things that I’ve never been able to get through my head. Some stuff that I’ve never been told about what stuff does to your future, and how some stuff that you don’t think is bad is really disrespectful and stuff. Makes me regret doing the stuff I did to get into the AEP.” – anonymous student
- “They talked about real life situations. I was going through a lot of these problems we talked about." – anonymous student
- “He helped us understand problems. He talked to us one on one to talk about problems we have in the streets.” – anonymous student
- “I wanna thank the staff for being good to me while I was over [here]. I had a good time being [here] but not good enough because I’m not ever coming back. So that means I am going to the high school to do good and get on the basketball team and do something with my life. Good bye.” – participating student at JD Hall Learning Center
- “[Prevention staff], you have showed me how to have self control, respect and communicate with others. You have showed me that I am a very intelligent young lady. In these 15 days I have become a changed person…THANKS!” - participating student at JD Hall Learning Center
- “I like the way he connects with us and how he looks each individual in the eyes when he is talking to them. He is helping us improve our lifestyle.” – anonymous student
- “[I liked that] they were real with us. They were open about many subjects like drugs and sex and did not make us feel uncomfortable.” – anonymous female student at a Gateway to College event
- “I’m listening to what he tells me. I’m good and now I’m 8 weeks clean off weed.” – anonymous student
- “I feel like they [prevention specialists] actually care if we succeed or not.” – Charles, a student participating at a Gateway to College event
- “What I liked about this program was that we got to see what could happen to you if you don’t graduate or decide to choose to do bad things.” – anonymous female student at a Gateway to College event
"I got into drugs at the age of 12, started smoking marijuana at 13 and was doing cocaine by 14. To support my habit, I sold marijuana and stole from homes and cars. At 15 I got into what the street calls “cheese,” which is heroin. I started drinking with my step-dad every-other day. By 16 I was an alcoholic and a heavy heroin and cocaine user.
"My life was a big mess.
"Then I found the Lord, and for awhile I was doing good. But a couple of months later, I was back into drugs – this time selling “bars,” heroin mixed with Xanax, at school.
"At school I had a class with Ms. Tina. She works for The Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse. She talked about the consequences of drugs and addiction; how history and emotions can drive behavior; and what I’d need to know in life to get anywhere but here. Nobody had ever told me these things before. She cared about us. When I talked to her about using drugs and wanting to quit, she helped me get into treatment. She even saw me when I was in treatment and asked how things were going.
"Since November 4, 2010, I have been clean and sober. I’m back in school graduating in two months. I meet occasionally with Ms. Cyndie, who works with Ms. Tina, to stay on track.
"College is in the plan with some sort of business degree. I also want to be a youth minister to help other kids from going through what I’ve been through.
"I thank God for all His grace and mercy. I thank the Council for having the program that puts Ms. Tina and Ms. Cyndie in my school.
"I am a life changed."
- Juan, Irving ISD
- ...and there are many, many more High-Risk Youth Prevention/Intervention success stories...
Substance Abuse Helpline
- A middle aged female named “Brandy” called when she was in need of services and we connected her with resources that are making a difference in her life. She was very grateful for the help she received. Due to this positive experience “Brandy” called us for help for her 43 year old sister-in-law. Her sister-in-law was abusing alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, and meth. She wanted information on treatment options for a Dallas Co. resident who doesn’t have insurance. The Council provided detox and treatment referrals to her. (story relayed by Substance Abuse Helpline staff)
- A 26 year old male called looking for treatment and housing information. He was abusing alcohol, marijuana, and meth. He was given several referrals to meet his needs. At the end of the phone call the individual was happy to give his name and phone number so we could follow-up in few weeks to see if he followed through and if the referrals given were helpful. He said that he called the numbers he was able to find the assistance he needed and that his family had decided to take him back in. He was grateful for the help we gave and said he has stopped drinking and using other drugs and plans on going back to school later this spring. (story relayed by Substance Abuse Helpline staff)
- A lady called seeking help for her drug addicted husband; however, he wasn’t interested in receiving it. I spoke with her for awhile about the situation and then gave her information on interventions and the programs that are available for her as a family member with a loved one addicted to drugs. A couple months later she came to the Council to see me. She wanted to come by in person to thank me for helping her understand about an enabler. I found out that her husband had decided not to pursue help. She stated that she wasn’t in a healthy relationship and that she had decided to separate herself from him. She is now in school to get a degree to work with hearing impaired children. I appreciate that she took the time to drive from Irving to Dallas to express her appreciation. (story relayed by Substance Abuse Helpline staff)
- One lady called from a pay phone looking for long-term residential treatment but she did not have anything to write with or on. I suggested she could just call back when she had some but she was vehement that I stay on the line. I did just that while she ran across the street to a bus stop where she borrowed a pen and a section of a newspaper. When she got back to the phone a few minutes later, she was genuinely surprised that I was still there waiting to help. She was used to people giving up on her. (story relayed by Substance Abuse Helpline staff)
- A mother called after seeing one of the Council’s PSAs; she suspected her 12 year-old son may be using cheese. She said she never thought her family would be in this situation and that her son was a good kid. Due to domestic violence, she and her son had moved across town to live with her parents. Her son was hanging out with new friends, and she believed they introduced her son to the drug. I empathized with the caller, mentioning I was glad she called today and advised her we were here to help. I gave her referrals to several adolescent treatment facilities and also provided her with referrals for domestic violence services. She thanked me for helping her get the help her son needs and for recognizing that she might need help, too. I reminded her to contacting us again if we can be of additional assistance. (story relayed by Substance Abuse Helpline staff)
- An African-American mother with a deaf son was at the end of her rope trying to find a place that would provide drug treatment for him. His cocaine use had become a serious problem for the family, and her son had asked for help. Due to her son’s primary communication through sign language, she had not been able to locate any treatment center for him. We discussed how it is often difficult to provide treatment to a deaf person because of language and cultural barriers in facilities that are set up to handle only hearing people. Another issue she had was transportation to any distant places offering services for this population. We provided three referrals and he was accepted to one of them. I know this because I received a thank you note several weeks later saying, “I just want to say thank you, thank you. For the information that you passed onto me about rehab for my son - I can’t say thank you enough. He has been there since the last week of May…I pray that this is the real change he needs. A thankful Mother” (story relayed by Substance Abuse Helpline staff)
- A mother (self identified as a middle class Hispanic woman) called me devastated because she found out her son was using marijuana. She and her husband had little to no knowledge of how to handle this issue. The mother appeared to be co-dependent and was enabling her son to continue to use. I referred the mother to a support group that would help her deal with her co-dependency. Because their resources permitted, I recommended family counseling to the entire family. I also referred her son for outpatient treatment. To this day I often receive emails from this mom informing me that she and he family are doing well and the treatment and counseling have made a difference in her relationship with her son and husband. (story relayed by Substance Abuse Helpline staff)
- While attending a health fair, I introduced myself to individual working at a table nearby. Upon learning where I worked, he asked multiple questions about my job. He then explained that he had a great deal of respect for the Council as he was a recovering addict who had received the right referral from our Helpline. He has been clean for years and now worked in the field of recovery. (story relayed by Substance Abuse Helpline staff)
- Parents of an alcohol and cocaine-dependent chiropractor called because their son didn’t think that he had a problem. After much discussion, we referred them to an interventionist. As a result of this, the son went to rehab, completed a treatment program and is back working as a chiropractor. He has been clean and sober since 2007. (story relayed by Substance Abuse Helpline staff)
- I remember being touched by an overwhelmed mom who wasn’t sure where else she could turn so she wouldn’t lose her son to drugs. As we talked she said it was great that the community had a service such as this and that we could point her in the right direction for the help her son needs. She was most grateful for the variety (secular, Christian, local, sliding scale payment, etc.) of referrals we had to share with her. (story relayed by Substance Abuse Helpline staff)
- A 47 year old white male had been laid off several months before calling. He had a severe alcohol problem, getting drunk and/or passing out daily for the last 2 months. He was drawing unemployment compensation but had no insurance. We went through a detailed search for appropriate and available detox and treatment services. Two months later he called me back to tell me he had completed the program and had regained employment. (story relayed by Substance Abuse Helpline staff)
- ...and there are many, many more Substance Abuse Helpline success stories...
- “Appreciate the community service that ya’ll give. Convenient for people to know they can get tested here.”
- “She was very nice and explained everything to me.”
- “Now that I know of everything; all went fine.”
- “I was very pleased and relieved. It is fantastic to have this free resource for the public.”
- “I learned a few new things about how HIV is spread. I think the session was precise and educative.”
- “Thank you for everything especially your services and education for HIV.”
- “We have been most appreciative of the HIV screening services consistently and dutifully received from the Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse. Their counselors and staff have demonstrated expert and compassionate knowledge mixed with empathy and respect for the college community and the large community we serve. Over the intervening years, they have provided quality services to nearly 500 individuals. Now in the scheme of things, considering the incredible numbers affected by HIV/AIDS, while these figures may appear miniscule, the impact on the lives of those served is likely priceless.” - Kenneth Johnson, Director, El Centro College Health Services
- “The Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse has coordinated services with the University of North Texas to provide our students with free HIV screenings for the better part of the last decade. HIV screenings are of particular concern for the collegiate population, who are often experimenting with high-risk behaviors. The Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse recognizes this concern and provides not only HIV screenings, but also important education regarding the risks and the best ways to reduce or eliminate them. Since our partnership began, over 1,200 screening and risk reduction sessions have been provided for our students, helping them to focus on their educational endeavors and succeed academically. We are grateful for this continued partnership and the provision of important services to an at-risk population.” - David C. Mumaugh, Coordinator, Meadows Center for Health Resources, University of North Texas
- During one of the Council’s HIV Outreach program activities, I tested a thirty-six year old women for HIV. She talked to me about some of her family problems, including twice getting an STD from her husband of 16 years. Although her HIV test was negative, she explained that she was very happy and sad at the same time. She had decided to take her four children (the oldest was 14 and the youngest was 3) and leave her husband. For years she had been treated a less than a person and now her husband treated their 14 year old daughter the same way. Drugs were involved, too. She had worked for a year to save enough money to move out with her children. With no family in the Dallas area, she was afraid. I gave her the Council’s Substance Abuse Helpline phone number and told her someone could help her. After about two weeks, the woman contacted me to let me know that the Helpline referrals led her to a place for women and children. She was happy because she was safe with her children. (story relayed by HIV Outreach staff)
- ...and there are many, many more HIV Outreach success stories...
HIV Early Intervention Case Management
“…THANK YOU once again for helping me. The service and programs that you are able to offer me as a client are truly a blessing in my life. Please say, ‘THANK YOU’ to all of the folks that help to make all those services and programs available, from all the other great case managers, volunteers and staff to the contributors. I am extremely grateful. If not for your inquiries far above and beyond my expectations, I would miss out on many opportunities that I was unaware are being offered. I sincerely believe you all may be saving me from a depressing life or possibly even an early death. You are my best case manager ever. You should be commended for your considerate perseverance…even with all of your paperwork – those caseload files piled high all around. It is a pleasure, working with you, so tirelessly for me as my case manager. I pray the Lord shine his light on you and show you much generosity. What do you have up your rolled up sleeves for me next? I actually look forward to the joyful pleasure of working with you. Very Gratefully,” [HIV Early Intervention Case Management client]
“The professional services rendered by [Council case manager] and The Council staff are invaluable! [They] continually provide quality professional service with a true sense of compassion, courtesy and confidentiality. The services provided really make a difference!” [HIV Early Intervention Case Management client]
“The Council has been a life saver, and is in my opinion the #1 resource, BAR NONE! Not only have I had a problem with drugs and alcohol, I am faced with HIV and [Council case manager] has made a difference [helping me] live with them both!” [HIV Early Intervention Case Management client]
Since my transition to this agency and my case manager, I have become a stronger and [more] influential member of society, peer and father. I appreciate everything my case manager has done and is doing. He is not pushy, nor is he condescending of my opinion or actions. I would like to if possible recommend him to one of the TV stations for those Helping People segments. Thank you.” [HIV Early Intervention Case Management client]
Nelson West (name changed to protect identity) came to The Council’s HIV Early Intervention case management program in 2006. He had a history of marijuana abuse and was HIV+. Nelson admitted having sexual relationships with people using crack and heroin. This put him at further risk to abuse additional substances and further endangering his health. Nelson had been on the verge of eviction and loss of electricity on many occasions. His employment landscape proved stark for an individual with a felony charge and time served in prison. Working diligently with his Council HEI case manager, Nelson received vision care and transportation assistance. His case manager advocated for additional services in the community, including assistance with rent and utilities to avoid homelessness. Truly through his own perseverance and consistent contact with his Council HEI case manager, Nelson secured employment in April 2012, is practicing risk reduction strategies, is adhering to medication and is in good health.
- ...and there are many, many more HIV Early Intervention Case Management success stories...
The Texas Association of Addiction Professionals, Dallas Chapter, recently awarded its inaugural Community Service Award to The Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse. The Council was nominated and selected “for its dedication of time, service and commitment to improving the health and safety of our community.”
One of the Council’s many collaborative efforts, the BuzzFree PROMises Dress & Tuxedo Giveaway, recently received the Dallas ISD Dr. Emmett Conrad Extra Mile Award for ongoing volunteer service. The award is presented to an individual or group whose volunteer service has supported and enriched the lives of Dallas school children for three or more years and demonstrates significant growth in student participation and impact. Adam Medrano, First Vice President of the DISD Board of Trustees, and Dr. Michael Hinojosa, former DISD Superintendent, presented the award to several key members of the event planning team. (include pic with caption: (L-R) Adam Medrano, Cyndie Stanley, Chelsea Archer, Jennifer Eagan, Kim-Cuong Than, Velisha Mitchell, Debbie Meripolski, and Dr. Michael Hinojosa)
(L-R) Adam Medrano, Cyndie Stanley, Chelsea Archer, Jennifer Eagan, Kim-Cuong Than, Velisha Mitchell, Debbie Meripolski, and Dr. Michael Hinojosa