“Chasing the Dragon – The Life of an Opiate Addict”


The SACK Coalition invites you to a FREE showing of “Chasing the Dragon – The Life of an Opiate Addict” on Thursday, May 25th, 6:30 p.m. at the Paradise Theater in Mora.   Help us share this important message – invite your friends an neighbors; you’ll walk away with a better understanding of substance abuse and the opioid epidemic.

This movie/video was produced collaboratively by the FBI and DEA in an effort to combat the growing epidemic of prescription drug and heroin abuse. It is a documentary aimed at educating young adults, parents, guardians and community members about the danger of addiction. We encourage students/youth to attend the showing based on the discretion of their parent or guardian

After the 40 minute movie is show a panel of local community members will be available to answer questions about our local situation, preventative measures, and ways to stay educated and informed about the opioid epidemic facing our county. 


Click here to download the flyer!

National Prevention Week- Day Five: Suicide Prevention

Day Five – Suicide Prevention

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration) is the name behind National Prevention Week. The Drug Free Community Grant that funds the SACK Coalition does not dig into suicide and/or the connection to substance abuse/mental health currently.

For prevention week we offer these resources you can use for friend, family, clients, community members:

txt4life.org – Personal and confidential help 24/7. Text LIFE to 61222  Free. Confidential. Crisis Counselors.





National Suicide Prevention Lifeline                                                     
Ph. 800-273-8255 |  website 








American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Text TALK to 741-741
| Crisis Text Line | website 





How to Make Yourself More Resilient

By Gemma Hartley – May 11, 2017 – unstuck.com

How is it that some people try again and again, while others get perpetually stuck at the first roadblock? The difference is resilience — an adaptive trait that enables us to bounce back when faced with difficulties.

Resilience doesn’t mean we escape feelings of pain and hardship, but rather meet those uncomfortable feelings so we can work through stressful situations. Here are some attributes of a resilient spirit:

  • An ability to bounce back after setback
  • A more positive outlook on life
  • Heightened problem-solving abilities
  • Greater decisiveness in day-to-day actions
  • An ability to manage strong feelings and stress with a clear mind
  • The confidence to try new things without worrying about every little detail that could go wrong.

A recent study links resilience with physical benefits like a stronger immune system  and better cardiovascular health.  In other words, the less time spent ruminating in the negative, the healthier we can become.

While some of us are more naturally resilient than others, it’s a trait that can be nurtured, says Nan Henderson, author of Resiliency In Action. Henderson, who has studied resilience for 15 years, believes “that individuals are hard-wired to bounce back from adversity” and that everyone is capable of expanding their personal capacity for resiliency.

To build resilience: First, revisit the past…

A good starting place to build this bounce-back muscle is to reflect on past hardships and how you might work through them differently. Here are four questions to guide you through that process: 

Ask thisWhat challenges and obstacles have I faced in my life? 
When you identify past hardships, it’s likely you’ll see a pattern of where and how you get stuck. You now know where you need to hone your resiliency. 

Ask this: How did I overcome those past challenges?
Thinking about how you worked through past difficulties can help you see what your personal strengths are and how you might build on them. 

Ask thisWhere do I draw my strength and support from?
In Resiliency In Action, Henderson shares the story of a school counselor advising a girl who was struggling in math and science. Instead of opening with the negative, she asked the girl how she had managed to do as well as she had so far. The conversation then turned into a dialogue about her sources of strength and support and how they could be applied to help her succeed in math and science. 

Ask thisWhat helps bring me back to perspective and optimism?
It may be connecting with a specific person, going for a run, playing a game. The key is to find a way to see the bigger picture so you’re less overwhelmed with the details of a stressful situation.

Next, build habits for the future

Just as being resilient feeds our physical health, our daily habits feed our resilience. Approach the following list of habits as an ongoing process rather than a checklist of accomplishments. And don’t try to do too much at once. Begin by picking one to focus on, and take bite-sized steps.

Nurture strong bonds. Feeling encouraged and loved is one of the biggest factors that influences our ability to be resilient.

Develop independence. Autonomy allows us to distance ourselves from unhealthy people, influences, and situations.

Practice self-care. Taking care of yourself and building a strong routine allows you to be better prepared for when obstacles arise. Getting plenty of sleep and eating well are part of this. So is acknowledging your self-worth.

Look for the bright side. Being able to shift things into perspective after a job loss or setback provides us with a powerful understanding that we will weather the storms that come our way.

Be generous. One of the key ways psychologists urge people to move forward is to give back whatever they can. Giving to others helps us feel better about our own circumstances.

Communicate effectively.  Being open about what you want or don’t want and what you like or don’t like can help you manage a situation or head off a problem before it arrives.

More from Unstuck Advice – Live Better Every Day can be found by visiting their website.

National Prevention Week – Day Four: Illicit Drug Use and Youth Marijuana Use

Illicit Drugs Use: Cocaine, crack, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, tranquilizers, methamphetamine…illicit drugs and as we know can lead to addiction, impaired decision making, reduced self-control, and other community problems that we often identify with these types of drugs.

This week is about prevention. How can you make a difference? If you’re a parent, get involved in your child’s day-to-day activities by discussing risks of using illicit drugs. Talk Early, Talk Often!  Educate them on the dangers, teach them what you believe, give them resources, and let them know you care. As a community member you can take the time to talk to others about what you know, and provide resources. See below for some helpful resources (there are many others as well)!

Youth Marijuana Use: Young people start using marijuana for many reasons. Curiosity, peer pressure, and the desire to fit in with friends are common ones. Those who have already begun to smoke cigarettes or use alcohol—or both—are at increased risk for marijuana use as well. And people who have untreated mental health disorders or who have experienced trauma are at increased risk of using marijuana and other drugs at an early age.

Federal Law has prohibited the manufacture, sale, and distribution of marijuana for more than 70 years. However, with the discovery of potential medicinal properties of marijuana and the increasing misperception that the drug is harmless, there have arisen increased efforts to achieve its broad legalization despite persistent problems of abuse. As public perception of marijuana’s safety has grown, some states have also passed voter-approved referendum legalizing recreational use of marijuana by adults. The result has been the same: limited legalization has led to greater availability of marijuana to youth.

The question, “How much do you think people risk harming themselves physically or in other ways if they smoke marijuana once or twice per week?” was asked on the MN Student Survey taken in 2016 to 9th grade students in Kanabec County, 33.3%  answered “No Risk” and 21.3% “Slight Risk”. As we can see by these survey results and trends similar to this across the State of Minnesota and elsewhere, the limited legalization has begun to change the perception of harm with our youth.

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States by teens as well as adults. Teens tend to believe marijuana cannot be harmful because it is “natural.” But not all natural plant substances are good for you—tobacco, cocaine, and heroin also come from plants. (National Institute on Drug Abuse – NIH)

There is good news!! 93.2% of 9th grade students reported NOT using marijuana in the past 30 days when asked on 2016 the MN Student Survey!

There is no magic bullet for preventing teen drug use – darn it!

Research shows that parents, guardians and other trusted adults have a big influence on their teens, even when it doesn’t seem that way! Talk openly with your children and stay actively engaged in their lives. Some find it helpful to share key points and address questions with fact. There are many great resources available. For more information here are a few resources:






Heroin dealer found guilty of murder in first of four cases.

Beverly Burrell was found guilty of third-degree murder in the overdose death of a Chanhassen man who received the fatal dose of heroin from her, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Wednesday.

Hennepin County District Court Judge Paul Scoggin, who heard the case May 15-17, filed his guilty verdict in the death of Lucas Ronnei late Tuesday. He heard testimony on another third-degree murder case against Burrell at the same time, but will not rule on that one until after closing written arguments July 3.

In his verdict memorandum, Judge Scoggin found the testimony credible from Ronnei’s parents and a friend of Ronnei’s. That friend picked up the 20-year-old on Jan. 6 and they drove to the parking lot of a restaurant in Minneapolis. There, the friend met with Burrell, bought heroin with money provided by Ronnei and then drove Ronnei home.

Once home, his parents became suspicious that Ronnei had injected heroin and planned to take him to the doctor the next day. He remained in his room through the night and they could hear him snoring at 9:30 a.m. the next morning. However, when they entered his room at 11:30 a.m., they found him unconscious and he was pronounced dead less than 90 minutes later.

Judge Scoggin noted that Burrell’s defense was correct in saying no one saw Ronnei inject the heroin so they cannot know for sure where he got the fatal dose of the drug. But the tight timeline between the time he received the drug and the time he died made it “highly unlikely Ronnei obtained any other heroin.”

Because there are still three more murder cases to be concluded by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office against Burrell, it would not be appropriate for the county attorney to comment further.


Positivity in the Park Review – Better Together!

SACK Coalition members and Mora’s ATI students came together and kicked off the Positivity in the Park initiative on Wednesday, May 17th. The weather didn’t cooperate as well as we would have liked but there was a fantastic turn out for this first time event! Our community partners stepped up to help make this event successful as well – First Light Heath Systems, Shopko, Kanabec County Sheriff’s Office, Mora Public Schools, Kanabec County Dairy Ambassadors, Kanabec County Community Health, Hardees and McDonalds – all donated items to make the activities and meal possible. 

There are plans to host smaller events throughout the summer on a smaller scale to increase the number of families that use Library Park and create a positive environment for our community. If you know of a community organization that would like to join in our our efforts have them contact SACK Coordinator Patti Miller at 320.679.6321 or via email at patti.miller@co.kanabec.mn.us.

We are Better Together!

Check out pictures of the event on our Facebook Page: Substance Abuse Coalition of Kanabec County