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Rosecrance Jackson Centers’ prevention team creates positive change for youth and families year-round

In the not-so-distant past, a teen in trouble for smoking a cigarette in the school restroom might earn a stern lecture from the principal and detention. Today, a child caught vaping might be required to have a chat with a substance use expert.

Rosecrance Jackson Centers’ prevention teams serve hundreds of youth in Iowa with age-appropriate evidence-based programming that emphasizes life skills and the benefits of a drug-free life. This includes a specialized curriculum about vaping. In addition, prevention staff provide community education classes and work with area coalitions to provide community-based strategies to keep youth healthy. Drug-free workplace training also is available for businesses.

“No one ever wishes to live with an addiction and yet it happens. Genetics, normalization of use, and the still-developing adolescent brain are some of the contributing factors to the risk of substance use disorders,” said Rosecrance Jackson Centers Prevention Specialist Joy Gonnerman. “Along with education, prevention strategies use systemic community engagement to create places where a lifetime of health for our young people is considered a priority worth working together to achieve.”