Drugs 101: Myths, Trends, and Opportunities to Intervene

by | Mar 24, 2024 | News

In late 2023, CASA of Kent County Executive Director Stephanie Sheler was presented with an interesting opportunity: a partnership with Corewell Health Addiction Clinics. With the knowledge that addiction and substance use affect many families involved in the Kent County child welfare system, Stephanie was eager to work with Corewell to create a learning opportunity for the community. Longtime CASA supporters Dick and Diane Sherlock connected Stephanie with their daughter Cecily Heaton, an operations manager at Corewell Health. Cecily then looped in her colleagues Dr. Colleen Lane and Daniel Wicklund, RN, who launched Corewell Health Addiction Clinics around Michigan.

The idea was simple: Corewell Health would provide the training and CASA would recruit trainees. When Warner Norcross + Judd joined as an event partner and host for both in-person and online attendance, the event only grew more promising. On January 22, 2024, CASA volunteers, court personnel, foster care agency workers, MDHHS staff, and other interested community members came together for an informative presentation titled Drugs 101: Myths, Trends, and Opportunities to Intervene.

Colleen and Dan presented invaluable information about common illicit drugs currently in the Grand Rapids community and throughout the rest of the country. They also highlighted current treatment options and harm reduction* techniques for people who are struggling with substance use disorder. One specific treatment option was even distributed at the event. Guests were encouraged to take a box of Narcan home so they would have a valuable treatment for opioid overdose.

The presentation was met with overwhelmingly positive feedback from attendees, reaffirming the fact that many West Michigan community members care deeply about substance use treatment and prevention. The ability to host guests in person and online was a major key to the event’s success. We are thankful to Corewell Health and Warner Norcross + Judd, who made this informative, motivating event possible.

*Harm Reduction: Harm Reduction is an approach that promotes health in a way that meets people where they are, accepting that not everyone is ready or capable of stopping their substance use at a given time (Recovery Research Institute).


Grand Rapids, Lakeview, Reed City, Greenville, Muskegon, Big Rapids, Ludington, Fremont

Corewell Health Grand Rapids Addiction Clinic (75 Sheldon Blvd. SE, Suite 100, Grand Rapids, MI 49503)


  • Corewell Health Grand Rapids Urgent Care – Alpine (2332 Alpine Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49544)
  • Corewell Health Primary Care – Gaslight (2249 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506)
  • Corewell Health Addiction Clinic – Grand Rapids (75 Sheldon Ave. SE, Suite 100, Grand Rapids, MI 49503)
  • Corewell Health Grand Rapids Hospitals – Care Center (2750 Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525)
  • Corewell Health Grand Rapids Lemmen-Holton Cancer (Center, 145 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503)


This story is featured in the Spring 2024 edition of CASA connect, CASA of Kent County’s quarterly newsletter. Click here to view a pdf version of this newsletter.


Keep In Touch With CASA

Being an informed community member will better equip you to advocate for vulnerable children in our community. Subscribe to our email list to stay up to date on CASA of Kent County news, stories, events, and more. We promise not to overwhelm you with too many emails!

"*" indicates required fields

Stay connected to CASA!

Subscribe to receive email updates.