Recovery & Wellness Series


We are excited to announce our next FREE Recovery & Wellness event, “Marijuana & Mental Health” with our guest speaker, Dr. Ken Cutler, Nevada County Public Health Officer. Learn the history on cannabis use in the U.S., why our knowledge of it is somewhat “underdeveloped,” and learn about known therapeutic effects, promising therapeutic avenues, and known concerns like cannabis and psychosis. Dr. Cutler will also discuss reasons to be cautious, and focus on youth use prevention and consequences. SPACE IS LIMITED! Please RSVP to Serenity Madison at (530) 273-9541 ext. 217 or

Marijuana Impacts on Adolescent Health

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:

Understanding Adolescent Substance Abuse

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

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

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

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


Marijuana: Trends, Science, and Updates 2015

Our most recent community forum on Marijuana: Science, Trends & Updates 2015, was opened with a presentation by prevention colleague and distinguished guest, River Coyote, from the Tahoe-Truckee Future Without Drug Dependence (TTFWDD) Coalition and included the personal story of a local family’s journey using medical marijuana (CBD’s) to treat a child’s devastating illness presented by Kara Fox. The well-rounded presentation focused on the current trends in marijuana use, the tremendous changes we’ve seen with regard to potency, harms of youth recreational use and the potentially devastating impact marijuana has on the developing adolescent brain. .

Marijuana_FTUsing trusted science, River Coyote shared more than 20 years of research focusing specifically on the harms of adolescent marijuana use to help parents and community members become more aware that today’s marijuana has an exponentially higher potency and poses greater health risks: lowered brain functioning, memory loss, drop in IQ and greater risk for overdose and hospitalization. Coyote has a Master’s Degree in Public Health specializing in Substance Abuse Prevention for the last 13 years. She works as a Children’s System of Care (CSOC) Health Educator and is the current Director for the Tahoe Truckee Future Without Drug Dependence working on Teen use of alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs.

With all of the newly passed and coming up legislation, expanding the use of marijuana for medicinal as well as recreational use, parents are experiencing an increasing amount of challenges with having conversations with their youth about the consequences and risks associated with adolescent marijuana use. With permissive attitudes, seemingly social acceptance, and increased access, parental awareness is more crucial than ever. There are great resources available to help parents open and maintain clear lines of communication, a proactive approach, and healthy boundaries around their teens and marijuana use.

In addition to the science and research, parent Kara Fox, shared the touching story of her young son Julian’s journey. Julian was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 6 months old, began experiencing seizures at 4 years old, and was diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. Kara spoke about Julian’s very delicate and complex Cannabidiol (CBD) treatment and the 10 months of extensive research that was conducted to find the correct therapeutic levels to use medical marijuana. Kara Fox provided additional research that can be found at the (below) links:

What people said about the presentation:
82 % of attendees felt the presentation would be beneficial to share with more community members and felt more confident talking about marijuana and its harms after receiving the information.

91 % of attendees reported that, as a result of attending this presentation, their general knowledge about marijuana and perception of harm from recreational marijuana use by teens increased.

A local school administrator reported, “I need regular and updated data on studies. The cross fires of what is cultural and what is legal in this county is incredibly confusing to adolescents and young adults. The urban myths are hard to combat, as ridiculous as they are. We also need more updated data and info (as it is available) about marijuana usage and pregnancy/fetal development. Being able to quote: ‘We are seeing the cannabinoids jump the placenta barrier and that it shows up in breast milk’ is powerful.”

Home for the Holidays

The holiday season is a time of joy and good cheer while simultaneously offering plenty of reasons to be stressed out and anxious — the gifts you haven’t wrapped, school finals, impending family gatherings, the pile of cookie exchange invites, the office parties… and the list goes on.

There are certainly plenty of have to’s on the agenda and a dizzying array of plans to keep up with. These seasonal happenings can be a great opportunity to connect and focus on togetherness and gratitude. With some practical tips, the stress that accompanies the holidays can be minimized for parents and children of all ages. You may even end up enjoying the holidays more than you thought you would.

This season is, for parents, associated with a lengthy school break and kids at home desperate to be entertained. This may be the perfect opportunity to create new traditions that everyone can count on and look forward to.  Keeping it simple can keep it fun – sharing a favorite meal, watching a movie marathon (The Santa Clause movies, It’s A Wonderful Life, Polar Express – just a few favorites), making homemade gifts and cards for loved ones and so on. As families change and grow, so do their Holiday celebrations. Maybe some teens want to spend more time with their peers or have outgrown some of the family rituals.

Involve your teens in planning, adapting or even helping create new traditions.  This year, why not start a new tradition that reinforces the spirit of “giving”?

Here are a few ways to keep up the spirit, reinforce togetherness, and occupy vacation time.

Cozy Inside Ideas and Outside adventures…

  1. Homemade Crafts: A gift crafted from the heart has value far beyond the baubles purchased at the store and have the uniqueness of the giver and recipient.
    1. snow globes: The awesomeness of a winter season filled with sledding, snowmen, and fluffy blankets of powdery goodness don’t seem to fade with time. After all, these snow-filled memories have long been written and sang about through time. Transforming a child’s first ornament into a snow globe is a great way to make a new memory with the old. What you need: canning jar(s), glitter, hot glue gun, decorative ornaments, water…presto!
    2. Greeting cards: With the internet, texting, and social media handling the bulk of communication these days, won’t it be nice for loved ones near and far to receive and hand crafted card… Download and print coloring pages or print our preloaded card on cardstock and color them with the family. Download preloaded cards HERE
  2. Add a little flavor: Cooking and baking as a family can be a wonderfully messy adventure filled with opportunities to create new memories and bring back the old ones…
    1. Culture Night: Have the family pick a culture to learn about and create a traditional dish and project based on the research. (example: Culture – China; Project – Paper Lanterns; Food – dim sum) Learn something new and fun! Check out DuoLingo to learn some new words. Add to the adventure year round with a map of the world that the family can pin once the fun is over.
    2. Bake-offs: Grab the whole family and encourage the kids to bring in some friends on this one! Each participant will draw the name of a baked good from a jar and create a dinner and dessert special filled with laughs and fun.
  3. Take a hike and snap a pic: Create a photo album of holiday adventures with the family. Take a hike on the Hirschman or Independence Trail and take family photos in the beautiful scenery. The trails are ADA accessible and kid-friendly.
  4. Travel through time: The cultural history of Nevada County is known far and wide.
    1. Cornish Christmas – Enjoy the 48th annual Grass Valley Cornish Christmas Celebration – Friday Nights: Nov. 27 – Dec. 4, 11, 18, 2015 from 6:00 – 9:00pm Learn more…
    2. Victorian Christmas – Nevada City Victorian Christmas 2015 – Sundays – Dec 6, 13 & 20 from 1:30 – 6pm and Wednesdays – Dec 16 & 23 from 5 – 9pm
    3. Empire Mine – Celebrate the holidays early 1900s’ style at Holidays at Empire Mine –Friday November 27th & Saturday November 28th, 2015 – Festive activities from 11 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Free admission for children under 6
  5. The gift of Giving: Families make the best of this time of year with what they have. Help your family embrace the people and organizations committed to generosity and learn about a charity, organization, or cause that may inspire your family to see if you can help. Even spreading the word about the efforts being done in the community is helping. Check out Giving Edge for a list and profiles of non-profits in our community.

Regardless of family background, beliefs or stage of life, Family Traditions are important as they promote quality family time and lasting memories. Make each day count.


Marijuana Trends, Science & Updates Forum – November 19th

MJ header Learn about: What are the current trends in marijuana use?
What is the trusted science of today’s marijuana?
Is marijuana addictive? Is marijuana harmless?
Has marijuana changed? (Wax, Shatter and Dabs…)
How does it affect the adolescent brain?
Legalization vs. Decriminalization – what’s the difference?
What has happened in Colorado (since recreational legalization passed in 2012)
and a local parent’s experience with using medical Cannabis for her child.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Doors open at 5:30
Presentation begins promptly at 6:00 pm
180 Sierra College Drive, Room #101, Grass Valley, CA 95945

Please RSVP – Space is Limited

This event is currently at maximum capacity and we are not able to receive any new RSVP at this time. Please email for more information. Thank you.

*Any views or opinions presented in this forum are solely those of the speaker(s) and do not necessarily represent those of Community Recovery Resources (CoRR) or the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County (CDFNC).

The Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County is funded by the drug free communities grant # 5H79SP020679-02 from ONDCP and SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Office of National Drug Control Policy or the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.