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Ankeny Substance Abuse Project (ASAP)

Ankeny Substance Abuse Project (ASAP)

ASAP MISSION STATEMENT

The Ankeny Substance Abuse Project (ASAP) is a non-profit alliance of Ankeny area volunteers representing businesses, churches, civic groups, families, public agencies, and other organizations dedicated to fostering a safe community free from illicit drugs and alcohol abuse.

ASAP PURPOSE

  • Set policy and make administrative decisions concerning the establishment and maintenance of services and activities which address the prevention and treatment of alcohol and drug abuse in the ASAP service area which includes Ankeny and surrounding communities.
  • Secure increased public interest, support, awareness, and participation in project services and activities.
  • Oversee the operation of project activities including contractual matters, program, finance, periodic evaluation and facilities management.
  • Facilitate the meaningful involvement of youths, adults, and organizations in a community alliance committed to eliminating the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol in the area served by ASAP.

ASAP History

Every five years, beginning in 1980, the Ankeny Community Education Advisory Council conducts an extensive community needs assessment survey. Each of the completed surveys identified substance abuse as the most urgent need requiring attention by the community. The second highest identified need always trailed substance abuse by at least 20 percent. Based on the need identified by these surveys, the Community Education Office of Ankeny Community Schools organized a planning conference and used the “charrette” model for planning. The participants in this event, held in 1988, had one goal: to bring the community together to address the problem of illicit drug use and alcohol abuse in the community.

Held in 1988, more than 65 individuals from all areas of the community (city officials, school administrators, church and business leaders, civic organizations, and students) participated in this Citizen’s Planning Conference. By the end of the intense 2 1/2 day meeting, a plan was developed for dealing with the substance abuse-related issues facing the community. Participants reviewed the data from the community survey, learned about the challenge of substance abuse prevention, and developed a multifaceted action plan. Participants formed a task force dedicated to establishing a long-term collaborative project that would provide an on-going presence within the community. This task force founded the Ankeny Substance Abuse Project. Most of these original task force members still involve themselves in the support of ASAP.

Twenty-five years ago there was no collaborative effort in the community of Ankeny to address the problem of substance abuse. There was no substance abuse counseling and referral service within the community, and no local organization focusing concerted efforts towards substance abuse prevention programming for all ages in the community.

When substance abuse related issues need to be addressed in the community, ASAP facilitates and plays an important “hands-on” role in the process. When individuals need a place to turn in time of need, ASAP is ready to serve them. ASAP has provided direct counseling services to countless individuals and families throughout Ankeny and northern Polk County and we have touched many people through our prevention programming.

In November 2000, a half-time prevention specialist was hired. The specialist initiated the Ankeny Bridging Strategies Project which evolved into four community coalitions based on the strategies of mentoring, family strengthening, youth empowerment, and healthful after-school activities.