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In The News
June is PTSD Awareness Month. PTSD is a mental disorder. If it is untreated PTSD can lead to someone turning to substance abuse to self-medicate.
The Relationship Between PTSD and Addiction
By Mental Help: An American Addiction Centers Resource
“Around 50% of individuals seeking substance use treatment also meet criteria for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and individuals with a co-occurring PTSD/Substance Use Disorder (SUD) tend to have poorer treatment outcomes than those without such comorbidity.

PTSD was initially described as “shell shock” for returning veterans. Our understanding of this painful disorder has evolved in the DSM-5 to identify a broader range of trauma-inducing stressors, including exposure or threat of death, actual or threatened serious injury, or actual or threatened sexual violence. It’s important to identify that the stressor can be experienced directly or by witnessing, indirectly.

Chemical dependency is often described as an attempt at self-regulation, not so terribly different from self-injury other types of trauma-related impulsive behavior. 

We might mistakenly believe that treating the trauma will stop the alcohol and drug abuse. However, addiction may continue to persist given that the substance has hijacked our reward system, causing us to develop enduring tolerance (need more of the substance to get the same effect) and withdrawal (physical consequences and discomfort when substance use stops) symptoms.

Successful recovery requires clients to understand how the addictive substances have helped them survive: that is, which trauma symptoms have they been attempting to treat through drinking and drugging? We need to know this because the trauma symptoms will increase when we enter sobriety, and we will need coping strategies to manage the triggers of PTSD when they appear. Relapse preventionplans must create strategies to manage both addiction and PTSD symptoms and triggers."

 Violence, particularly gang violence, has recently increased in our community. As of June 9th, ten people were injured, and three teens died in just eight days.

Omaha Police Department and local nonprofits like Coalition Rx, and YouTurn, intend to increase their preventive and intervention actions. 

YouTurn provides programs and support to those between the ages of 12 and 25 who are most vulnerable to violence. 

Coalition Rx has been working with the Salvation Army North Corp since March 2021 to provide our Too Good for Drugs and Violence after-school program to local youth. The Omaha Police Department has also been working with us and the Salvation Army for these classes. The correlation between gang activity and substance abuse is high, Coalition Rx is committed to continuing to work with local youth to prevent these dangers.

If you're seeking more information on preventing youth violence, please check out YouTurn's website. If you have any tips or information about the recent local violence or homicides, please reach out to the Omaha police department or Crime Stoppers unit. 

Crime Stoppers Hotline: 402-444-STOP
Teens, Drugs & Violence
By, The Office of National Drug Control Policy
“Teens who use drugs are more likely to engage in violent behavior, steal, use other drugs, and join gangs. In the past year, youth* who used an illicit drug were almost twice as likely to have engaged in a violent behavior as those who did not use an illicit drug. And one in four teens (27%) who abused illicit drugs in the past year report attacking others with the intent to harm.

Methamphetamine, marijuana, and prescription pain relievers are among the most abused drugs by teens who acted violently. The more drugs a teenager uses, the greater the tendency to engage in violent behavior.

Nearly one in six teens (17%) who got into serious fights at school or work in the past year reported using drugs. Among those teens engaging in violent acts during the past year, most were 13, 14, and 15 years old.

Adolescents represent approximately 14% of the general population, yet they comprise about 31% of the victims of violence, and teens are twice as likely as any other age group to be victims of violent crime.

Teen crime victims are also at a greater risk
of doing poorly in school, abusing drugs or alcohol, having problems eating or sleeping, being victimized, and perpetrating violent crime themselves.

Teens join gangs for a variety of reasons.
Some seek excitement; others are looking
for prestige, protection, income, or a sense of belonging. Other reasons teens join gangs include unstable family living conditions, the availability of drugs and alcohol, parents who tolerate or commit violence, falling behind
or failing in school, and hanging out with delinquents. The more of these risk factors children are exposed to, the more likely they are to join a gang during adolescence.”

The More You Know
For more information
For more information
Parents need to be talking to their teens & preteens about gangs, and the consequences they can bring into their lives. Here are some tips on keeping your child out of a gang.
For more information. Click Here.
Our Programs
The Too Good for Drugs & Violence program
The Wellness Initiative for Seniors program
For more information on our programming & what we do, check out our website.
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!
Goal Setting Scenario - Too Good For Drugs and Violence
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.

For more information on upcoming events visit our website.

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) 871-5622