Help Make Our Community a Better Place
“Resilience is not about surviving the worst day of your life, it is for thriving every day of your life.” Dr. Rick Hanson

The qualities and characteristics of resiliency can be learned and nurtured in any child. As educators, and parents we can actively help students adopt the resiliency they need to overcome rough spots in the road.

When facing challenges, encourage students to approach daunting tasks with optimism. Trying new things can be scary, but it’s often less scary when it’s modeled by trusted adults. Seeing others dust themselves off and try again shows children that they, too, can fail and try again.

When kids have the skills and the confidence to confront and work through their problems, they learn that they have what it takes to overcome difficulty. The more they bounce back, the more they internalize the message that they are strong, capable and resilient.

These are hard times, but these are the best times for us to teach our kids to be resilient.

Carey Pomykata
Executive Director, Coalition Rx

In The News
America's Drug Overdose Epidemic
"Drug overdose deaths continue to impact communities in the United States. From 1999 to 2017, more than 702,000 people have died from a drug overdose. In 2017, more than 70,000 people died from drug overdoses, making it a leading cause of injury-related death in the United States.

Overdose deaths from opioids, including prescription opioids, heroin, and synthetic opioids (like fentanyl) have increased almost six times since 1999. Overdoses involving opioids killed more than 47,000 people in 2017, and 36% of those deaths involved prescription opioids.

August 31, 2019, is International Overdose Awareness Day, a global event that aims to raise awareness that overdose death is preventable and to reduce the stigma associated with drug-related death. Goals also include providing information about risk for overdose and community services and preventing drug-related harm through evidence-based policy and practice

The goals of International Overdose Awareness Day are:

  • To provide an opportunity for people to publicly mourn loved ones in a safe environment, some for the first time without feeling guilt or shame.

  • To include the greatest number of people in International Overdose Awareness Day events, and encourage non-denominational involvement.

  • To give community members information about the issue of fatal and non-fatal overdose.

  • To send a strong message to current and former people who use drugs that they are valued.

  • To stimulate discussion about overdose prevention and drug policy.

  • To provide basic information on the range of support services that are available.

  • To prevent and reduce drug-related harm by supporting evidence-based policy and practice.

  • To inform people around the world about the risk of overdose.

For more information on National Overdose Awareness Day check out their website.

For more information on overdoses from the CDC please check out their website.

Back-to-school Guide Designed to Help Parents
"School districts are getting creative with how to reopen safely: smaller or spaced out classes, more hand washing and minimizing larger groups in cafeterias or hallways. So far, pediatric cases of COVID-19 seem to be less severe than cases in adults.

We've created this safety guide designed to help parents with the following items:

  • What to add to your shopping list

  • How to schedule school physicals

  • Is it safe for kids to wear masks?

  • Reducing risk in sports and other activities

  • How to talk to worried kids about school

  • Back to school shopping

Along with traditional notebooks and pencils, add some new supplies to your list:

  • Kid-friendly masks (bonus points for fun designs)

  • Hand sanitizer (contains at least 70% alcohol)

  • Disinfecting wipes/sprays for your teacher's classroom

When buying masks for kids, multiple layers of fabric is good. Ideally, the fabric is breathable and resists water. The more snug it fits around your child's face, the more effective it will capture anything they're exhaling or that they might be exposed to.

Parents/guardians should monitor television, internet, and social media viewing—both for themselves and their children. Watching continual updates on COVID-19 may increase fear and anxiety.

If you can't find sanitizer in stores, you can make your own hand sanitizer at home. Family physician Amber Brown Keebler, MD, also recommends backpacks and lunch boxes that are easy to clean and sanitize.

Immunizations and school physicals are perhaps more important now than ever.

"Pediatricians use school physicals as a comprehensive overview of your child's health," Dr. Brown Keebler said. "We measure blood pressure, height and weight. We also administer important vaccines." Back-to-school appointments are best done in person, if possible. Your local doctor's office continues to be one of the safest places to go.

"The wearing of masks is not harmful," said Mark Rupp, MD, chief of the UNMC Division of Infectious Diseases and medical director of infection control and epidemiology at Nebraska Medicine. That goes for schoolchildren too. Dr. Rupp said that wearing a mask may even help people with asthma.

"Some kids -- especially kids with sensory or behavioral conditions -- may have problems wearing a mask," said John Lowe, PhD, UNMC assistant vice chancellor for interprofessional health security training and education, while answering questions from the public. "Clear face shields can help these kids communicate while protecting others. Face shields aren't as effective as masks, but they will block some droplets."

What about younger children? Kids over the age of 3 can wear masks without worry. Two-year-olds and below tend to play with them or take them off. A COVID-19 researcher, Dr. Lowe said, "I was a mask skeptic for children, but my 4-year-old proved me wrong. With very little coaching, she wears a mask in public very well."

How is Pandemic Child Care Affecting Parents Work, Finances?
By Kerry Breen, Today News
"Parents across the country are thinking about changing their work plans — or even quitting — because they are caring for children at home due to the coronavirus epidemic, two new surveys show.

UrbanSitter surveyed 500 parents, and 72% said they don't have childcare; 70% say it's difficult to work from home with kids. One in five respondents said they were more likely to quit their job now than before the pandemic, and the majority of parents surveyed said that their biggest concern about work-life balance was managing childcare.

According to the survey of 2,000 parents, 73% of parents say that they may have to make "major changes at work," with 44% of those respondents saying they would be interested in amending their schedules, 21% saying they may look for a different job and 15% saying that they may need to leave the workforce entirely.

"I get nauseated thinking about our most likely scenario for the fall, which will be remote learning and requires lots of hands-on time with them," Madison Agee, a communications director for a large medical center in Nashville, Tennessee, whose children are 12 and 8, told TODAY in July. "They require direction to stay on task and that is a huge time and energy requirement. It’s just not tenable when I am on Zoom calls eight hours a day."

The UrbanSitter survey showed that many families can't afford the child care that would be needed for them to return to work

Another concern for parents is the relative safety of child care. According to the UrbanSitter survey, 57% of families said that they would want some sort of nanny or au pair if cost were no issue; 64% of parents said they were worried about returning their kids to daycare.

Parents said they would want child care providers to take extra precautions like isolating themselves when not with children, taking their temperature daily, and keeping children isolated.

Most children will manage well with the support of parents and other family members, even if showing signs of some anxiety or concerns, such as difficulty sleeping or concentrating. Some children, however, may have risk factors for more intense reactions, including severe anxiety, depression, and suicidal behaviors. Risk factors can include a pre-existing mental health problem, prior traumatic experiences or abuse, family instability, or the loss of a loved one."

The survey showed one bright spot: Workplaces may be a bit more amenable to parents juggling child care and workplace responsibilities. While 66% of parents said that managing both "caused their productivity to suffer," 43% of respondents said they felt that their employers are more tolerant of them managing children while working than they were at the beginning of the pandemic."

The More You Know

We've added a new interactive activity to our website! It is a risk calculator, based on the Too Good For Drugs and Violence program. The scenarios are centered around which behavior you choose to calculate the risk of. It will help children and young adults develop their critical thinking skills and decision making skills around drugs and alcohol.
To use & try the new calculator please check it out on our website. Here.

Special Announcement
For more information on the mask mandate.
Coalition Rx Spotlight

New Executive Board
In July, the Coalition Rx Board of Directors held elections and voted in a new executive board. Congratulations to everyone who was elected, we are excited to better serve the community under your leadership!
Don Hoes, CPSWS
President and Chairman of the Board
Community Representative – Nebraska/Iowa
KEYSTONE Treatment & Outreach Center
Stephanie Schroeder
Vice President
Vice Chair of the Board
REALTOR® Better Home and Gardens
-The Good Life Group
Representing parents who have lost a child to a prescription drug overdose
Kathy Jacobitz, MHA, RN, BSN, CSPI
Managing Director
Nebraska Regional Poison Control Center
Karla Dush
Program Specialist
Operation Youth Success
Douglas County, Nebraska

Online Programming
If you are looking for educational and engaging activities for your kids during this time of social distancing Coalition Rx has you covered! We are working hard to transition our evidence-based programming into online lessons. We are currently posting one video per program a week on our Facebook page and website.

We're also working on Zoom lessons if parents, teachers or students are interested in joining please email and we will get some class times set up!
Jacob Peterson, Strengthening Families 10-14, Compliments Activity
Tammie Dickens, Too Good for Drugs and Violence- Bullying
Help Reduce the Misuse of Substances of Abuse
We provide three evidence-based programs for youth and families. Strengthening Families Program 10-14, Too Good For Drugs and Violence K-8 and WISE. If you are interested in these programs please check out our Facebook page for the virtual lessons we have started in the wake of social distancing guidelines.
Each month Coalition Rx hosts a community meeting. We partner with local experts to discuss the substance abuse issues in our community and how we can combat this epidemic. Due to COVID-19 we are postponing all in-person meetings until restrictions are safely lifted.

Founded in 2015, our mission is to reduce the misuse of all substances of abuse by raising awareness and partnering with community organizations to provide public and professional education, prevention and treatment resources, and policy advocacy.
Carey Pomykata Executive Director
(402) 552-2221