Keep Calm and Back 2 School

August 2, 2016

There is no doubt that, for most parents and young people, the rush of back-to-school may present some challenges. Those last minute school supplies, getting the schedule organized, after-school care and activities…the list goes on.

Here are some quick tips to help ease the transition back into the school year and possibly reduce a little bit of the tension and anxiety of the coming school year.

  1. Reset sleep schedules two weeks prior to the first day of school.

During the summer months, sleep schedules tend to become less structured. Routines are not as pressing when the rush to school is on hiatus. When it comes time to return to school, it’s important that young people, and parents, are prepared in advance and give their bodies and brains plenty of time to get used to the school year routine.

  1. Let kids choose a planner or scheduling tool that they’re excited to use.

It’s challenging for a lot of parents to get their young people to actually use a day planner or like tool to stay on track throughout the year. It’s no secret that young people want to feel empowered to make decisions all by themselves. A simple way to meet them where they are at is to give them the opportunity to select a tool that will work for them as well as put parents’ minds at ease.

  1. Create a family calendar that tracks everyone’s activities and commitments.

Parents and young people are busy, busy, busy. Sometimes, a simple and accessible universal calendar can help the whole family stay on track and in-the-know.

  1. Refresh your rules about screen time for the school year. What’s allowed and when?

There is no doubt that electricity rules these days! The lure of electronic devices can be intensely distracting for all members of the family so it’s important to review and revise the family rules around how much TV is viewed during the school week, when time phones get shut down at night, and having a central location for devices where the whole family participates. Rules are easier to follow when leading by example.

  1. Establish a set “Family Time,” whether it’s during dinner or before bed.

Studies show that belonging and connectedness improves mental health and learning. It is generally thought that what happens at family meals, rather than the meals themselves, fosters this protective effect. If family meals are frequent and consistent—for example, five or more dinners together each week—mealtime can serve as a conduit for open, ongoing communication, a time when family members talk about their days.


By Melissa Kelley

Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) – 09/24/16

July 27, 2016

A Successful Early Intervention Approach…

Upcoming SBIRT Training: A no cost professional development training.  

The UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs will present this free SBIRT Training at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital. The training offers 4 continuing education credits/contact hours (CEs/CEUs) . Breakfast snacks and lunch will be provided for attendees. .
Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital SBIRT Training:

When: September 24th 2016
Where: Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Outpatient Center, 1st  Floor Conference Rooms
155 Glasson Way Grass Valley, CA

Training check-in will begin at 8:00 am and the training is scheduled to commence at 8:30 am and conclude at 1:00 pm.
Pre-registration is required.
Registration online at:

For more information contact Shelley Rogers: Email: or phone (530)273-7956

SBIRT is an evidence based approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment for people with substance use disorders and those at risk of developing these disorders.

Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment are effective in a variety of settings. Its effectiveness has been proven particularly effective in hospital emergency departments and trauma centers with individuals with alcohol-related injuries. SBIRT has also been shown to be effective in primary care settings, where it is incorporated into other routine medical assessments such as measuring blood pressure. This training focuses on screening procedures to identify risk; key motivational interviewing concepts and principles that are tied to effective use of the FLO (Feedback; Listen and Understand; Options Explored) brief intervention; and referral to treatment for patients with more serious substance use-related problems. At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be able to: (1) Describe the background and rationale for conducting SBIRT in a variety of health settings; (2) Explain how to utilize screening procedures to identify patients engaged in at-risk substance use behaviors; and (3) Demonstrate a three-step motivational interviewing-based brief intervention strategy to motivate patients to change their at-risk behavior and/or seek treatment.

Screening quickly assesses the severity of substance use and identifies the appropriate level of treatment.  Brief intervention focuses on increasing insight and awareness regarding substance use and motivation toward behavioral change. Referral to treatment provides those identified as needing more extensive treatment with access to specialty care. The explicit goals of SBIRT, as identified by SAMHSA, are to increase access to care for those with substance use disorders and those at risk of substance use disorders; foster a continuum of care by integrating prevention, intervention, and treatment; and improve linkages between health care services and alcohol/drug treatment services.



Marijuana Impacts on Adolescent Health

May 11, 2016

By Shelley Rogers, Program Manager, Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County

I’m the Program Manager for the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County. We are parents, grandparents, youth, educators, health professionals, law enforcement and more working together toward a vision that young people in our community are free from substance use and have every opportunity grow up healthy and with a positive vision for their future.

I had the opportunity last night in Nevada City to present information on the impacts of marijuana on adolescent health and community norms. My experience has generally been that regardless of one’s opinion about marijuana policies, preventing youth marijuana use is an area of common ground that can be agreed on as important.

Impacts on Adolescent Health

We know that early initiation of marijuana use is linked to a range of developmental and social problems, poorer school performance, and higher drop out rates. A 2012 study of over 1,000 individuals followed from birth through midlife found that ongoing and regular use of cannabis that began as teens was associated with neuropsychological decline across numerous domains, including cognitive and memory problems and declining IQ. Further, cessation of marijuana use did NOT fully restore neuropsychological functioning among adolescent-onset cannabis users (Meier et al, 2012).  – See more at:

Peer Influence

Adolescence is a time when friends become more influential and intellectual capabilities expand.  Peers have a great deal of influence on our children, but studies show parents have more. In fact, teens say parents are biggest reason they choose to not use marijuana, alcohol or any other drug. We parents, grandparents, and educators have an opportunity to share consistent messages with kids about how using drugs interferes with brain development and can limit opportunities for their future. Parents should talk early and often about family rules, expectations, and to be clear and consistent about consequences. Shocking as it may be, sometimes adolescents want you to say no. By setting and enforcing rules, parents give teens predictability and structure, as well as a way to combat peer pressure. Left to their own devices, teens often do whatever it takes to be accepted by other teens, including falling in with the wrong crowd and getting in trouble. Without your caring oversight, teens are left feeling isolated and alone.

Here is some helpful information:

For the Health of It; Town Hall Meeting on Underage Drinking – April 20, 2016

April 18, 2016

Town Hall_Ad DraftApril is Alcohol Awareness Month – We’re working to keep kids alcohol and drug free

Take the PLEDGE to NOT provide alcohol to our youth.

WHO: Nevada County Club Live Youth Council, Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County (CDFNC), California Friday Night Live Partnership (CFNLP),  California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Nevada County Public Health

WHAT: Nevada County Club Live Youth Council would like to invite you to attend a Town Hall meeting – for the health of it. This year, in partnership with the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County, our Youth Council is working on a grant-funded campaign provided through the California Friday Night Live Partnership (CFNLP), with funding from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  NO COST to attend – Space is limited.

WHERE: NEO Youth Center | 139 Joerschke Drive, Grass Valley, CA 95945

WHEN:  Wednesday, April 20th, 2016. 6:30pm – 7:30pm

WHY: The Youth Coalition is concerned about underage drinking and the monumental role it plays in the cause of many youth and young adult problems, including engagement in risky behaviors. Therefore, we are requesting your attendance and support at our town hall meeting where we can discuss this concern further, and propose a plan of action to prevent this trend from reaching our community. Telling our youth not to drink isn’t enough-we have to address the environmental elements that are promoting underage drinking, and dimming the bright futures of our youth, families and communities.  The Nevada County Public Health Friday Night Live and Club Live Prevention Program’s works in partnership with young people to change norms, move policies and educate/engage their communities about what they can do to reduce problems associated with alcohol and underage drinking. With so much at risk, it’s hard to comprehend why youth report easy access to alcohol, experience community norms that condone underage / binge drinking, and are consistently bombarded with media messages that promote alcohol consumption.

For more information contact Brandi Fowler, Health Education Specialist; 265-1780 or

Take the PLEDGE to NOT provide alcohol to our youth.

Recovery & Wellness Series – Rob Steffke, LMFT – April 21, 2016

April 5, 2016

The Recovery & Wellness Series welcomes Marriage & Family Therapist, Rob Steffke, on Thursday, April 21st, 2016 at this community wellness seminar addressing Filling the Void Through Living From Purpose.

Topics include:

  • How the functioning of the brain’s reward system is enhanced through connection to purpose
  • The concept of a “Core Gift”
  • Traditional understandings of how the individual relates to the community
  • Resiliency as it relates to purpose
  • The need for healthy risk-taking
  • The barriers to offering our gifts
As seen on a Sussex Directories Inc site

As seen on a Sussex Directories Inc site

About the presenterI support clients in regaining authentic ways of being and acting. In times of challenge it is natural to move into a state of contraction, where it becomes difficult to imagine how to respond. When we’re held in a supportive and trusted environment by someone who knows the territory of the distress, we can regain the ability to be with our difficulties and move from our own sense of knowing and guidance.

I work with men and women as they navigate the territories of relationship and parenthood, focusing especially on the challenges/opportunities of fatherhood and on how to embody healthy masculinity in today’s world. I also specialize in working with teens, bringing 15+ years of experience working with adolescents.

I draw from experience in the areas of substance abuse, addiction, spirituality, and rites of passage. When appropriate, I combine traditional therapeutic approaches with experiential activities to expand the healing relationship, create new avenues for understanding, and reach youth who are resistant to therapy.

– Rob Steffke, Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFTFACEBOOK HEADER

The Campus
180 Sierra College Drive, Grass Valley, CA 95945

Space is limited so please RSVP right away to reserve your seat.

Continuing Education Credits now available for the upcoming Recovery & Wellness Series:

Community Recovery Resources is approved to provide two (2.0) continuing education units (CEU’s): BBS #PCE2459CCAPP #5-01-456-0217.

April 21st, 2016
5:30pm – 7:30pm
The Campus
180 Sierra College Drive, Grass Valley, CA 95945

Download Flyer HERE

CoRR, the CoRR Alumni Association and the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County are pleased to present a one-of a kind FREE community Recovery & Wellness Series, formerly known as the Recovery Enrichment Series. The focus of this bi-monthly series is to provide FREE education, information, and life enrichment for our amazing community.

These events are absolutely FREE to attend and open to anyone who would like to attend. Space is limited so please RSVP right away to reserve your seat ~ Melissa Kelley 530-273-9541 ext. 226; email – – Online RSVP form BELOW

Recovery & Wellness Series RSVP

Please join us for the Recovery & Wellness Series.

Prescription Medication Take Back Day Saturday, April 30th, 2016 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

March 22, 2016

On Saturday, April 30th , Grass Valley Police Department partner with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County in a nationwide prescription drug “Take-Back” day.   This program allows members of the public to drop off potentially dangerous, expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for safe disposal and destruction at the Corner of Neal and South Auburn in downtown Grass Valley. DOWNLOAD FLYER HERE

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Monitoring, securing and safely disposing of medications can prevent the abuse of prescription drugs and protect our environment. Many people are not aware that medicines that languish in homes are susceptible to misuse and abuse. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

In an effort to prevent unnecessary contamination of our ground water, we ask community members to refrain from flushing their prescription medications down the toilet.  A 2008 study by the Associated Press found traces of pharmaceuticals in tap water across the U.S. and evidence suggest this water pollution may also have negative affects on wildlife.

DROP OFF LOCATION: Corner of Neal and South Auburn (parking lot across from Safeway in downtown Grass Valley)

WHEN:  Saturday, April 30th, 2016 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
For more information on Permanent Safe Disposal Sites, please visit:

Contact Information:

Shelley Rogers, Coalition Coordinator:  530-273-7956
Chief Alex Gammelgard, Grass Valley Police Department:  530-477-6400


Understanding Adolescent Substance Abuse

January 11, 2016

From the desk of Rob Steffke ~

I am hosting a talk and community forum entitled,

The evening will aim to create an understanding of the root causes that drive youth toward substance abuse. Moving from understanding, we will look to ways that we as parents and community members can respond in creative ways to support the teens in our lives.

This free event will be:

download buttonFriday, January 22nd from 5:30-7:30 

at Inner Path, 200 Commercial Street, Nevada City

Drawing from neuroscience, cultural study, and personal narrative I move from the perspective that substance abuse is an indication that a teen is hurting or lacking fulfillment in some form. As we generate such understanding, we often encounter our own grief, which is something we must meet if we are to respond authentically, empathetically, and creatively to our young people. When we show our youth that we care, that there are ways to meet their pain without running, and that their lives have purpose, we create the circumstances through which they learn to engage life fully–thus filling the void that they are attempting to inadequately fill with substances.

My goal for the night is to engage in a generative conversation about how to support our youth through their challenges in a way that helps them discover the gifts they hold as members of a larger community.

I hope to see you there. Feel free to forward this to anyone who might be interested.



Rob Steffke, MFT#90625






Board of Supervisors consider Ordinance on  Marijuana Cultivation – Tuesday, January 12th

January 11, 2016

This past October, the California Governor, recently signed new legislation that will allow the State of California to control and license medical marijuana dispensaries, delivery, and commercial cultivation throughout the State.

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016 at 1:30pm, Nevada County Sheriff, Keith Royal, will appear before the Board of Supervisors to present an urgency ordinance regarding marijuana cultivation in Nevada County. In accordance with the October 2015 laws, Nevada County has until March 1st, 2016 to make a decision on this issue locally.

Community members may attend this meeting.

1:30 P.M. Keith Royal, Sheriff-Coroner/Public Administrator

51a. SR 16-0075 (Introduce/Adopt)  An Urgency Ordinance amending the Title and Sections G-IV 5.2 through G-IV 5.5 of Article 5 of Chapter IV of the Nevada County General Code regarding Restrictions on Marijuana Cultivation. (4/5 affirmative vote required.)
51b. SR 16-0082 Resolution calling an Election for, and authorizing the submission to the Voters of, an Ordinance amending Subsections G-IV 5.4(C) and G-IV 5.4(E) of Article 5 of Chapter IV of the Nevada County General Code regarding Restrictions on Marijuana Cultivation, and Consolidating the Election with the June 7, 2016 Statewide General Election

See full Agenda: 1-12-2016 Agenda 

Read More about this issue:

CRAFT: Helping Families Learn How to Motivate Loved Ones to Seek Help for Addiction

December 17, 2015

What is CRAFT? Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) is a resource for family or friends who are concerned about their teen or a loved one’s substance abuse. It’s a coaching tool offering conversation techniques and examples to help motivate loved ones to be open to get help/treatment.

CRAFT impacts families in multiple areas of their lives, including self-care, problem solving, and goal setting. At the same time, CRAFT addresses their loved one’s resistance to change. CRAFT teaches families behavioral and motivational strategies for interacting with their loved one and how to use positive communication skills to improve interactions and maximize their influence. Specifically, CRAFT teaches several skills, including:

  • Understanding a loved one’s triggers to use substances
  • Positive communication strategies
  • Positive reinforcement strategies – rewarding non-using behavior
  • Problem-solving
  • Self-care
  • Domestic violence precautions
  • Getting a loved one to accept help

HBO profiled CRAFT in a series on addiction. Click Here to watch a couple of short introductory videos.

CRAFT is available:

Cadence Online provides immediate access to the Parent CRAFT training:

Allies in Recovery offers online access and CRAFT membership:

Parent Resource:  

Parent Support Network: Grounded in the evidence-based principles of motivational interviewing and Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT), the Parent Support Network helps parents and other caregivers keep open the lines of communication and caring with their child, and reduce the damage that is being done to the child and to the family by substance abuse and related behaviors.

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

December 16, 2015

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. Per mile driven, teen drivers are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.   Drunk, drugged, and distracted driving combined with inexperience put teens at high risk.   The holidays are an especially risky time for all drivers and even more for inexperienced teen drivers out to have fun with their friends.

Here are the facts:

  • Six teens ages 16 to 19 die every day from motor vehicle injuries.
  • One in 10 teens in high school drinks and drives.
  • One in 8 high school seniors admit to driving under the influence of marijuana.

The number of drivers smoking pot and driving is increasing. The rate of drivers who died in accidents with marijuana in their system tripled in 2010. Many drivers are not aware of the negative effect marijuana has on a person’s critical driving skills.  Studies are showing that marijuana:  reduces motor coordination, slows reaction time, and impairs decision-making, peripheral vision and concentration.

This is a call to parents and adults to educate young drivers about the risks and help keep them safe this Holiday Season.  Remind them of the risks, laws and safe driving rules.   For more information –

National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

Take the next step and download the Parent-Teen Driving Agreement