Hobbies Not Habits on March 7, 2020

You are invited to attend our March 7, 2020 “Hobbies not Habits” event in Lake Havasu City at the Mohave Community College campus.

It is Free to attend, Saturday, March 7, 2020 1 pm – 4 pm. There will be a BMX Show, Games & Activities, Workshops, and Free Giveaways.

Sponsored in Partnership by YADAH and AZYP.

Hobbies not Habits local event in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

Hobbies not Habits local event in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

2020 Community Survey

Update: The survey is now closed. Thank you!


We are asking all community members, stakeholders, and anyone that has an interest in our community to take a brief moment to complete our latest survey. Our 2020 community assessment survey will aid in prevention efforts for the youth of our community.


You may also print the survey from this link and mail it to the address below.

For more information about the survey, or to ask us a question, please contact us on our Facebook page at: YADAH LHC Facebook Page

PDF Print Survey Form Download Link

MAIL PAPER SURVEYS by February 1 to:
Jane Dowling, PhD
Wellington Consulting Group
10030 N 118th Street
Scottsdale, AZ   85259
You can preview the questions that are on our short survey below.

Walk Away From Drugs

Walk Away From Drugs was a huge success!

Over 200 community members joined us at London Bridge Beach for a one mile walk to support recovery from mental health & substance use disorders.

The walk began at Wheeler Park  and ended down near the London Bridge in the Channel.

For more information about future events, please visit our Facebook page.


Demand drives opioid market

It was standing room only at the 2018 Opioid Summit.

Determining the reason for the opioid crisis in the United States isn’t about rocket science.

It’s considerably easier: demand.

The growing opioid epidemic was among the topics at the Opioid Summit Feb. 14-16 in Tempe.

“Cartels do not manufacture a product we don’t want,” said Douglas Coleman, special agent in charge for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, Phoenix Field Division. “We have demanded these products.”

Coleman said it costs $5,000 to make 1 kilogram, or about 2 pounds of fentanyl, which is worth nearly $2 million when sold.

“Fentanyl was created to increase addiction,” he explained. “Of all opioid overdoses, more than half involve fentanyl. That’s unheard of.”

In the last decade, the increase in opioid addiction has been substantial.

“People continually chase that first high and can never get there,” Coleman said. “The number of people dying from heroin has tripled in the last 10 years. We are losing large numbers of future generations due to the epidemic.”

Opioids do not play favorites, crossing all barriers and reaching all communities.

There were about 64,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2016. That’s more American lives than were lost during the entire Vietnam War.

Shana Malone, clinical initiatives project manager for Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, mentioned the vulnerability of youth.

“Of those who said they used (opioids) in the last 30 days, 66 percent said they used them to cope with feelings of stress or sadness,” she explained. “These drugs change how youth think and the damage to the brain can be permanent.

“Most youth who try, start by age 13.”

There are about 23 million people with opioid dependent syndrome in the United States, which is driving demand. Of the opioids consumed worldwide, 80 percent are consumed in the United States.

Nationally, 115 people die per day from an overdose and in Arizona there have been 910 overdose deaths in the past nine months.

There were many presenters on the first day of the summit.


Mohave County is far from immune and is listed as a hot spot in Arizona.

In response, a number of local coalitions are addressing community needs in Mohave County.

Lake Havasu City has the Young Adult Development Association of Havasu (YADAH), which is working to reduce and prevent the use of drugs and alcohol among the area youth.

In Kingman, the Mohave Substance Abuse Treatment and Education Prevention Partnership (MSTEPP) is dedicated to finding solutions to the substance abuse epidemic.

In Bullhead City, the Mohave Area Partnership Promoting Educated Decisions (MAPPED), is motivated to empower the community in healthy decisions that impact substance abuse and other destructive behaviors.

All the coalitions are looking for community participation. YADAH meets the second Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at the Shops at Lake Havasu, suite D430. MSTEPP meets the third Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m. at the Kingman Police Department. MAPPED meets the first Thursday of each month at 9 a.m. at the Bullhead Mohave County Library.

The Hwal Bay Hmany did gev’k coalition in Peach Springs meets at noon the third Thursday of each month at the Hualapai Health Wellness and Education building.

“The stronger the coalition, the better the opportunity to make positive strides in finding solutions to our Mohave County opioid epidemic,” said Cheryl Clark, community development coordinator with Arizona Youth Partnership. “When people become involved, they feel like they’re making a contribution to their city.”

“We need to come together to find solutions,” Coleman said.

Education is important.

The coalitions are in place to help, but prevention starts at home. People in every community need to get involved and parents need to talk early and often with their children.

“Ignorance is not bliss,” Clark said. “Opioids can seduce any individual. The only way to fight back is with numbers and dedication.”

Did You Know … Baseball

Getting youth involved in athletics will help keep them away from drugs and alcohol.

Getting youth involved in athletics will help keep them away from drugs and alcohol.

So you think you know baseball?

Riddle me this: when does the centerfielder cover home plate?

The answer’s quite simple, but it’s a quick way to help young players understand there is always a place to be on any given play.

The answer: when nobody else can.

Baseball has a history so rich nobody really knows where or when it was invented. It is known that Abner Doubleday had nothing to do with its creation.

The origin of the game has been a source of heated debate, especially in the 19th century. The English suggested baseball arose from a game known as “rounders” and those in the United States believed it was a strictly American sport.

The first known reference to baseball in America dates back to 1786. But, the first recorded baseball game between organized clubs didn’t take place until 1846.

In the event you’re curious, the New York Nine defeated the Knickerbockers 23-1 in Hoboken, New Jersey.

The drubbing may have been a bit humbling considering the first known written rules for baseball were penned for the Knickerbockers (for basketball fans, that is the full name of the Knicks).

Those rules put an end to “plugging,” which was the art of throwing out a runner … by hitting them with the ball.

Needless to say, such a practice often ended in a brawl. Instead, a runner could be tagged, or forced out.

But baseball remained largely unorganized until the late 1800’s, when the current National League was born.

Those listening to a National League game may hear the term “Senior Circuit.” That’s because the league was the first to emerge in 1876, followed nearly 20 years later by the American League.

There was a good deal of in-fighting between the two leagues, but in 1903 they came to an agreement that paved the way for the first World Series, in which the Boston Americans defeated the Pittsburg Pirates.

The Pirates are a familiar name in baseball, but the team with the longest tenure in one city is the Philadelphia Phillies, which were founded in 1883. However, the oldest baseball franchise honor goes to the Braves.

The team bounced around a bit before landing in Atlanta, but the Braves were founded in Boston in 1871 and joined the National League in 1876.

But why baseball on the YADAH Facebook site?

Athletics have many health benefits, but football is nearing its conclusion and basketball is well underway, but the start of baseball is growing near.

Playing baseball is a healthy activity, promoting both physical and mental well-being.

Of course there’s the physical exercise associated with athletics that helps strengthen the heart, arms and legs. There’s also the ability to burn calories simply by being active.

Mentioned on YADAH Facebook more than once is the importance of being outdoors because the sun provides an excellent source of vitamin D. The vitamin helps the body to absorb and metabolize calcium and phosphorus.

The game itself, however, gets the brain involved. Going back to the question at the start of this story, there’s always some place to be on any given play.

Not to mention the hand-eye coordination. After all, baseball is a game where you take one round object, another round object, and try to meet them square.

If that’s not enough, youth playing baseball have fewer health issues and are more likely to avoid substance abuse and attend college.

If you didn’t know, now you do.

Did You Know … Baking

Maybe YADAH should have considered this topic around Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Baking is an activity that can be done at home and shared with others.

As it turns out, however, baking is a wonderful, healthy, boredom-relieving activity people can practice throughout the year.

To heck with the holidays, get to the store for some butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. It’s time to get busy and use the oven in creative ways.

Speaking of which, the world’s oldest known oven was discovered less than four years ago in Croatia, dating back 6,500 years.

Despite the potential stress ardent bakers might experience trying to keep recipes “secret,” the benefits of this activity have been documented.

Turns out baking can be rather altruistic, or unselfish. Baking goods and giving them to others can be done for many reasons, including condolences, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and other special occasions.

Sometimes it’s just done to be kind.

The reason for participating in the activity isn’t important; it’s a wonderful hobby or craft to replace boredom. Just watch the sugar.

What is baking? Simply, baking uses prolonged dry heat, most often in an oven, to cook. It is most often associated with bake goods, such as cakes, pastries, and cookies. However, it is also the method used to make an American favorite: pizza.

Want to get creative, baking can also be used in conjunction with barbequing, but at this point YADAH might be going a bit too far.

The craft has come a long way.

In the early days of baking, it was limited mostly to the wealthy because few had an oven to bake in the middle ages.

This began to change in the 1400’s and baking saw an explosion in popularity in the 15th and 16th centuries as societies began to change and the middle class began to grow. Today, nearly all Americans can bake.

And why not give it a try? It can help knock out depression or anxiety.

Think about the smell of a home as the oven door is opened and a cake or batch of cookies is removed. That smell triggers feel-good endorphins beneficial to humans.

But, that’s jumping to the end, maybe because it’s YADAH’s favorite part. The preparation requires a lot of attention, keeping an individual focused on the task at hand, and creativity and imagination are encouraged.

It also stimulates all the senses: sight, sound, touch, smell, and, of course, taste.

However, maybe the most beneficial quality is the ability for ones creation to make others happy. The baker and the individual receiving the gift feel great. It’s a win-win for all involved.

The benefits of baking have inspired some to use it as a therapy program, known as culinary art therapy.

It can help suppress sad thoughts, and serves as a stress reliever, unless maybe an upside down cake came out right side up.

Such horrible thoughts aside, baking can be done by almost anyone. And, if the passion grows and the food is great, this is a hobby that can become a career.

Just watch out for how much cookie dough you consume.

If you didn’t know, now you do.

Did You Know… Fishing

Fishing is a cost-effective way to spend a day outdoors with kids.

History would suggest fishing is an activity for the ages.

It certainly has enjoyed unprecedented staying power with the practice dating back at least 40,000 years, a time at which fishing was an essential part of survival.

Now, whether a person calls it a hobby, sport, or craft, fishing is something the entire family can enjoy. Often passed down from generation to generation, there are many reasons to consider picking up a rod and reel and head to the nearest water.

With boredom mentioned as the second leading reason for trying drugs and alcohol in a Lake Havasu City youth survey, having an easily accessible, low-cost activity is beneficial.

In fact, many organizations have used programs such as “Hooked on Fishing, Not Drugs” as a method to help youths make better life decisions.

How cheap? Well, in Arizona a resident fishing license for individuals 10-17-years-old is $5 and 18-and-over is just $37 a year.

That’s right … quality entertainment for just 10 cents per day. For those under 10, fishing is free and there’s always Free Fishing Day in June for those wanting to try before committing to buying a license.

It’s quite the bargain when considering trout and tilapia run about $7 and $4 per pound, respectively, when purchased in a store.

The Arizona state record rainbow trout caught in the Colorado River weighed over 21 pounds and for tilapia it is about 7.5 pounds. That doesn’t include some of the monster striped bass pulled out of the Colorado River system.

Having something to do and the potential for putting dinner on the table are far from the only perks.

Angling has many health benefits, from the activity itself to the consumption of the fish.

Provided an individual isn’t sitting still with a cooler full of libations and snacks, fishing burns calories as an angler moves from one area to another trying to find the perfect spot to reel in a prize.

It also builds muscle. As much as an individual wants to pull a fish out of the water, it wants to remain in the water, so even a battle with smaller fish an angler uses their legs, back, arms, and shoulders.

Such battles create memories and bonds that last a lifetime. Parents often seek a stronger connection with their children and fishing is certainly an activity that promotes togetherness and the serenity may be the moment to address difficult subjects, such as drugs and alcohol.

Of course there’s many other potential health benefits, including a connection to the outdoors, relaxation, a healthier heart, and an increased level of vitamin D from being in the sun, which boosts the immune system and helps defend the body from diseases.

There are some monster stripers throughout the Colorado River system.

For today’s youth, among the benefits is an opportunity to put the digital world to rest for a few hours as they become absorbed in the sights and sounds only the outdoors can provide.

Take the time to expand the experience by discussing different fishing techniques, such as lures vs. baits, and spinners vs. flies, along with the different species of fish, their behaviors, and best spots to catch them.

All these benefits before actually catching a fish and preparing it for dinner must mean there’s more to come.

There is.

Consuming fish ranks among the healthiest diets. Unlike what is said of fatty meats, the fattier the fish, the better it is for overall health because of the vitamin D content. So, an angler gets two doses of the vitamin with just one outdoor adventure.

For youth, it is especially important for the development of the brain and eyes, and, for adults, it helps slow cognitive decline.

In addition, it is believed to reduce the risk of some autoimmune disease, such as Type 1 diabetes and may help reduce the risk of children developing asthma.

Now that you’ve caught a fish, look for video on how to fillet and prepare it for consumption and countless recipes are available online.

If you didn’t know, now you do.

Coalition looking for members

Jan. 2, 2018

Number of children using drugs and alcohol unacceptable

YADAH coalition members will be meeting Jan. 8.

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Arizona – The Young Adult Development Association of Havasu coalition is dedicated to reducing and preventing opioid, illicit drug, and alcohol use among the resident youth.

The coalition, which is seeking members, will be meeting Jan. 8, 5:30 p.m., at the YADAH office located in the Shops at Lake Havasu mall, suite D430, behind PetSmart.

“There comes a point when people need to stop waiting for others to address a problem,” said Zen Mocarski, community development coordinator with the partnership. “The abuse and misuse of prescription pain killers, illicit drugs, and alcohol is a problem that won’t magically go away.”

The majority of students in the Lake Havasu area do not use alcohol or drugs, but the numbers remain worrisome.

“More than a third of 12th graders admitted to consuming alcohol in the 30 days prior to a survey, almost a quarter had smoked marijuana, and nearly one in 10 had taken opioids,” Mocarski said. “And they are starting younger. Alcohol had been consumed by 17 percent of 8th-grade respondents and 11 percent had used marijuana.”

The number one reason given for using drugs or alcohol was to have fun.

The YADAH meeting will include the election of officers along with planning the first “Do Hobbies, Not Habits” event at the mall in April. Those interested in learning more about the coalition can visit yadahlhc.org.

For more information, contact Zen Mocarski (928) 421-9525 or Cheryl Clark (928) 605-9624. Or email Zenon@azyp.org or Cheryl@azyp.org.

Did You Know… Boredom

Occasional boredom is probably nothing to worry about, but when a person suffers from it daily it can lead to potential problems.

There are a number of tried and true sayings about boredom: bored to tears, bored silly, bored stiff, and, of course, bored to death.
And social media and video games are not a cure.

To be fair, boredom isn’t always bad, forcing youth who have grown tired of some games to reach deeper into the creative side of the brain to develop new activities to fill the gap.

It is a way of life for most people. Consider it down time, when being bored is exactly the escape an individual seeks.
But there is a difference between such a case and those who suffer from boredom on a regular basis. Continuing research indicates many negative side effects to boredom.

As children approach adolescence they grow bored with activities that once captivated their imaginations and they begin looking for ways to satisfy their need for excitement.

Those prone to boredom may be susceptible to many potential ailments, including depression, over-eating, anger issues, addiction to gambling, drugs, or alcohol and an earlier death.

Can someone then be “bored to death?”

Well, not on the surface. It’s doubtful anyone’s died watching a blade of grass grow, but the possibility for negative life choices is real and society is seeing the problems associated with youth becoming bored.

Experimenting with alcohol and opioids is certainly a possibility. In recent years, boredom was identified by Lake Havasu City youths as the second most common reason for trying opioids or alcohol, ranking just behind “wanting to have fun.”

It’s not a big leap when one considers the murder of an individual in Duncan, Oklahoma in 2013. One of the three boys arrested in the case told police they were bored and committed the act for “the fun of it.”

In a story by Anna Gosline in The Sciences, she quoted McWelling Todman at the New School for Social Research in New York City: “In one as-yet unpublished study of 156 addicts ranging in age from 24 to 68 at a methadone clinic, the subjects’ reported levels of boredom were the only reliable factor that predicted whether they would stay on course.”

Being bored can be exactly what a person wants. Consider it down time. But it shouldn’t be a daily routine.

Boredom is not a well-researched area and there is not yet an agreed upon way to define boredom.

But those looking into boredom know it can be a problem, especially for youth growing up in today’s fast-paced, quick-reward, technologically based society.

Television, movies, the Internet, and video games may appear to fill the boredom void, but in reality it has raised boredom to a new level, making highly bored youths more susceptible to experimenting with activities such as drugs and alcohol.

In the same Gosline article, she quoted John Eastwood, a clinical psychologist at York University in Toronto: “I think there is something about our modern experience of sensory overload where there is not the chance and ability to figure out your interests and passions.”

But is there a cure for boredom.

The first step is for parents to notice changes in behavior such as restlessness and irritability, at which time the youths may begin spending long periods of time camped out in front of a computer playing games.

Parents can’t dismiss boredom. Instead, engage it.

Activities such as exercising, networking with interesting people, and doing something they find fun is a starting point. Find what the children are most passionate about and fan the flames of their interests.

Problems ignored will simply fester. Find their favorite hobbies, sports, or activities and keep them engaged.

If you didn’t know, now you do.

Did You Know … Opioids

It’s not difficult to find written information or videos about opioids on the Internet. Type in the name and a landfill full of stories are almost immediately available.


Among the problems associated with opioid addiction is unused pills remaining in the medicine cabinet. Photo from AARP.

Unfortunately, most of them are dark and some quite difficult to watch or read.
Although it may seem like a recent development, the history of widespread addiction and abuse of opioids in the United States dates back over 150 years. Morphine was used during the Civil War and many soldiers became addicted, even after the war’s conclusion.
Later, thinking heroin was less addictive, it was dispensed to individuals addicted to morphine.
Being less addictive wasn’t true and a series of laws regulating the distribution of opioids were enacted in the 20th Century.
In 2007, the federal government brought criminal charges against Purdue Pharma for falsely claiming OxyContin was safer and less addictive than other opioids. The company and a number of executives plead guilty.
The market is flooded with names such as Percocet, Vicodin, Codeine, and Fentanyl.
But if they’re so bad, why are they so widely distributed.
In short, they aren’t bad for a small segment of the population. For people with chronic or end-of-life pain, the drugs, when used as prescribed, are effective at managing the agony.
The problem centers more on “over-prescribing” and having leftover pills sitting in cabinets. It is those leftover pills that often lead youth down rough, difficult-to-navigate terrain.
In an interview with Dartmouth Medicine, pain expert Seddon Savage said: “So a patient might get 20-50 Percocet after surgery or an injury and use just one or two. The rest sit on the shelf. We know that over 70 percent of nonmedical use of opioids is the result of obtaining drugs from people who have a legitimate prescription.
“That means there are excess medications out there.”
She added that while opioids can help those in pain, opioid misuse and abuse causes suffering as well.


Locking up medications is a wise practice.

And that’s when the trouble begins.
Data gathered over time suggests four out of five heroin users started down the path to addiction after using prescription opioids.
It is far from harmless … to anyone. Overdose deaths in 2014 exceeded 14,000 people and over 165,000 since 1999. And it has been escalating, with the number of deaths from opioid use rising about 400 percent in a 15-year span.
Each death impacts family, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances.
But it doesn’t end there. The misuse and abuse of these drugs is costing Americans over $500 billion, mostly attributed to health care, criminal justice, and lost productivity.
That’s not to mention those taking drugs and getting into a vehicle, which puts everyone on the same roadway at risk, which may adversely impact insurance rates.
The problem belongs to everyone and it’s real. Watch Kati’s story to understand why youths get started and the grip opioids have over their lives.
Because family and friends often notice changes first and can be the first line of defense in preventing a tragedy, look for potential signs of addiction, such as poor coordination, drowsiness, nausea, slurred speech, altered sleeping patterns, mood swings, and slow or shallow breathing.
The road to recovery can be difficult, but must begin with a commitment to quitting. Doctors can help with drugs that reduce opioid cravings and slowly reducing the amount of opioids taken can reduce symptoms of withdrawal.
Once clean, seek additional help. There are many organizations committed to helping those who have addictions and ask family and friends for support.
Individuals may contact the 24-hour National Hotline at (800) 448-3000, the Teen Hotline at (800) 248-8336, and The Hope Unit at freenaloxonekit@gmail.com for Naloxone and help.
For those that haven’t started using opioids without a prescription or are not abusing the directions for a drug’s use, don’t allow pressure to guide you down a path filled with cholla and Teddy bear cactus.
Don’t become one of the statistics used in this column.
If you didn’t know, now you do.