Geminus Prevention Services aims to reduce alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other ilicit drug use among Lake County residents and throughout Indiana. We work to accomplish our mission through education and training of youths and adults as well as through funding of youth organizations and community agencies that share our vision. More specifically, we:
Partner with agencies that share our commitment to the prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug abuse
Provide resources to communities to promote prevention programs that have been proven to reduce alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use
Supply technical assistance to service providers to ensure the effective implementation of successful prevention strategies
"Evidence-based prevention internventions have been shown to reduce the risk factors associated with substance abuse, increase protective factors, and reduce substance use and abuse." NC SIG
Prevent it Now or Pay for it Later
The financial costs of drug and alcohol abuse in the United States are huge--approximately $161 billion a year. The personal tragedies are just as great. And abuse is widespread. In fact, each year, 19% of youth 12 to 17 years of age and 28% of those between 18 and 25 use an illicit drug. Plus, there are roughly a total of 14 million illicit drug users in all.
The Best Way to Stop is to Never Start
Obvious as it may sound--to not start--young people continue to try illicit drugs. Of the estimated 4 million chronic drug abusers in the U.S. most started by experimenting with the three "gateway" drugs in their youth: tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana.
Meet Your Partner in Preparation
We provide funding and a comprehensive array of administrative services for partner agencies and community members that provide substance abuse prevention programming, locally, regionally, and statewide. To help ensure effectiveness, we employ evidence-based strategies in the programming we oversee.
Prevention Down to a Science
What are evidence-based prevention strategies? They're strategies that have a clear theoretical foundation and have been designed and evaluated using scientific methodologies. For validation purposes, the findings are subjected to a critical review by professional researchers and the strategies to reduce and/or prevent further use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs must produce the same desired results when duplicated in different settings. This means we know they're effective, time and again.
A Multifaceted Approach
Through a spirit of partnership, Geminus Prevention Services is committed to reducing the abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs and its negative effects upon society. Our work is directed into four main functional areas.
After School Programming
We know that three to six in the afternoon is the critical time period and that 10-14 years olds are the most at risk--and the most in need. That's why, in many of our programs, we work to provide structured, supervised activities with a peer facilitator for these young people. We take away their chance to engage in such risky behaviors as violence, drugs, gang activity, and petty theft by replacing it with activities that teach them the skills for coping wtih stress and resisting media pressures, boost their self-image, and help them become leaders in their communities.
Research shows that a commonly-wide approach is effective because it affects the entire social environment without requiring intensive financial backing or external staffing. That's why we work with communities to promote risk-reducing and protection-enhancing prevention efforts. The focus is on influencing the norms, values, and policies that promote a safe and healthy community as well as changing the present conditions that place youth at-risk for health and behavior problems.
We train youth and adults - including people from small businesses - in the basics of advocacy, teaching participants how to raise awareness about issues on the state and local level as well as how to create or change policies and laws. After all, we believe that everybody should have the tools to protect their rights and change the sytems that don't work for the good of society, particularly when it comes to preventing the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other illicit drugs.
Commitment isn't enough. We facilitate professional development, because community leaders and partner organizations must be able to keep up with new information and new effective techniques and programming. Our training helps people working to prevent the abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs increase the effectiveness and sustainability of their efforts.