Friday, October 20, 2017

Rx Take Back Day - October 28, 2017 - Van Buren County Sheriff's Office Lobby

On Halloween, and Every Day, Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving - The SAFE Coalition Reminds Halloween Partiers Against Drinking and Driving

This Halloween, the SAFE Coalition is reminding Halloween partiers that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. If your Halloween party involves alcohol then you have to make a plan to get home without getting behind the wheel.

If you want to stay safe this Halloween then make a plan to get home without driving if you’ve been drinking. Even one drink impairs judgement, so plan to get home with a designated a sober drive. Buzzed driving is drunk driving, so think ahead to stay safe.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 43 percent of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night (6 p.m. October 31st – 5:59 a.m. November 1st) from 2009 to 2013 were in crashes involving a drunk driver. On Halloween Night alone 119 people lost their lives over that same period. Children out trick-or-treating and the parents accompanying them are also at risk as 19 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes on Halloween night (2009-2013) involved drunk drivers.

It is illegal everywhere in America to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. In 2013, 10,076 people were killed in drunk driving crashes. Even if you drive drunk and aren’t killed or seriously injured you could end up paying as much as $10,000 for a DUI.

Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving, so follow these simple tips to stay safe:

·         Plan a safe way to get home before you attend the party. Alcohol impairs judgement, as well as reaction time. If you’re drunk you’re more like to choose to drive drunk.
·         Designate a sober driver or a call a sober friend or family member to get home. 
·         Walking while impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.
·         If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement when it is safe to do so.
·         If you see someone you think is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them get home safely.

For more information, please visit

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office taking back unwanted prescription drugs October 28, 2017 at the Sheriff’s Office

On Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its 14th opportunity in 7 years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.  Bring your pills for disposal to the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office at 907 Broad Street, Keosauqua, IA 52565.  The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles/sharps, or inhalers, only pills or patches.  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last April Americans turned in 450 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners.  Overall, in its 13 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 8.1 million pounds—more than 4,050 tons—of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 28th Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion website or contact the SAFE Coalition at or 319-293-3334 ext. 1017 or contact the Sheriff’s Office at             319-293-3426.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Marijuana in Iowa: What You Should Know About Marijuana Concentrates (THC Extracts)

Highly potent THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) products are obtained by extracting THC out of the marijuana plant.  THC is the chemical in marijuana that produces a “high”.

Typical marijuana seized by law enforcement contains an average of about 12% THC.  Concentrates contain very high levels of THC, ranging from 40% to 80%.  Concentrates often appear similar to honey or butter.  Street names for these extracted concentrates include: Budder, Honey Oil, Wax, Ear Wax, Shatter, Black Glass, Dabs (dabbing), Butane Hash Oil, Butane Honey Oil (BHO), Errl and 710 (the word OIL flipped and spelled backwards). 

Hash oils and marijuana waxes are often produced in what are called Butane Hash Oil labs.  Butane gas is a highly flammable component used in the process of making concentrates from the marijuana plant.  An increasing number of BHO labs are being reported in the western United States, as are BHO lab fires, explosions and injuries.  In Iowa, law enforcement is reporting BHO lab activity in some communities. 

While marijuana concentrates are relatively new, one recent study of high-potency marijuana (16% THC) showed a psychotic disorder was five times more likely among regular daily users, and three time more likely among weekend users. (Kings College, London, 2015)  The effects of using marijuana containing lower THC levels have become well documented by research.  (“Adverse Effects of Marijuana,” New England Journal of Medicine, June 2014)  Some of these are: Short Term – impaired short-term memory, impaired motor coordination, altered judgement, paranoia and psychosis (in large doses); Long Term – addiction: 9% for all users (17% of teens), altered brain development, cognitive impairment (lower IQ) among frequent users during adolescence and symptoms of chronic bronchitis. 

THC extracts smuggled from other states and BHO lab remnants are being found with increasing frequency in Iowa.  The Iowa Crime Lab reports an upsurge in the number of marijuana submissions involving concentrates in the form of marijuana oils, waxes, vaping cartridges, candies and other food items (some labeled for sale and some home-made).  (Iowa Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Investigation, May 2015)

This information has been gathered and supplied by the Alliance of Coalitions for Change (AC4C).  For more information on the dangers of marijuana use in Iowa please contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or at  You can also find more information at, or

Thursday, September 28, 2017

SAFE Coalition Member Attends National Prevention Network Conference

The National Prevention Network conference was held September 12-14, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Orange County. The conference was three days, complete with keynotes, breakouts, and networking opportunities. The conference theme for 2017 was Rooted in Tradition, Strengthened by Science, Evolving the Field of Prevention.

The National Prevention Network (NPN) Conference (formerly called the NPN Prevention Research Conference) has a long-standing history. The first conference was held in 1988 in Kansas City, Missouri and has been conducted on an annual basis ever since in various cities around the country. Over the years, the conference has grown in size, hosting 700-1,000 participants.

The National Prevention Network (NPN) Conference hosts federal, state and local professionals from the substance abuse prevention field and related disciplines. Participants included: prevention providers, school personnel, government agency representatives and directors, law enforcement personnel, policy makers, coalition leaders and members, counselors, health education specialists, social workers, and high school students.

The purpose of the National Prevention Network (NPN) Conference is to highlight the latest research in the substance abuse prevention field. It provides a forum for prevention professionals, coalition leaders, researchers, and federal partners to share research, best practices and promising evaluation results for the purpose of integrating research into prevention practice.

The SAFE Coalition participant attended sessions that encouraged the coalition to focus on the following: the Opioid Crisis; working with the Faith Sector; Project Amp: The Role of Young Adults in Recovery in Preventing Adolescent Use; Advancing Prevention in Times of Transition; the Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health: A Focus on Prevention; utilizing Win-Win Collaborations; the mixing of alcohol and benzodiazepines; SAMHSA’s Prevention Resources; Youth Marijuana Use: New Research Prevention Strategies and Public Health Challenges; Social Media in Substance Abuse Prevention: Tools for Creating a Social Media Plan; and Preventing Marijuana Use through School Based Interventions and Youth Led Social Norm Change. For more information on the SAFE Coalition please call 319-293-6412 or email at

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Prescription Drug Take Backs

Prescription drug abuse is a growing concern in Iowa, due to the misuse of prescription painkillers (opioids), anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medicines, stimulants, and others medicines.  When not used as directed, controlled substances can lead to behavioral disorders, addiction and even death.  This is also true of heroin, increasingly used by some as a substitute for opioid pain medicine.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take in your home and community to help prevent prescription and opioid drug abuse.  By monitoring your medicines at home and disposing of them in a safe manner (not flushing), you can prevent the diversion and abuse of prescription drugs and protect Iowa’s water supply.

You have three options to properly get rid of unneeded over the counter and prescription drugs locally as outlined below.

1.      “Take Back Kiosks” (BEST!): More than 50 local law enforcement centers and community pharmacies have established permanent Take Back collection boxes, and the number of sites is growing. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office now offers this service.  The Kiosk is in the entry way and is available during normal Sheriff’s Office hours.  This program allows you to dispose of all medications (prescription, over the counter, controlled and non-controlled).  It does NOT allow for the disposal of inhalers, sharps/needles or liquids.  In the first week the Sheriff’s Office took back 21 pounds of medications and disposed of them with the help of the local DEA Office in St. Louis, MO. 
2.      “Iowa Pharmacy Association’s “Take Away” program” (Better): Lee Pharmacy has this program available for non-controlled substances.  Just stop in to the pharmacy and they will be able to help you understand how their program works. 
3.      “Take Back Events” (Better…but you may have to wait): Twice each year, on a Saturday in the Spring and Fall, law enforcement agencies team up with local organizations in over 100 Iowa communities to sponsor a special one-day collection of unused medicines.  Details typically are provided closer to the dates of these events, but general information is available at the DEA's Website:

For more information on how to dispose of your medications safely please contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or

Information provided by the Iowa Office of Drug Control Policy.  

Monday, September 18, 2017

5 Tips to Prevent Underage Drinking During Homecoming

Sobering Up Editor
Homecoming is an annual rite of passage for high school students, and one that often involves alcohol. Underage drinking and alcohol-related crashes involving minors tend to increase during homecoming season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
·         22% of teen drivers involved in fatal car crashes were drinking.
·         More than half of fatal motor accidents involving teen drivers occur on weekends.
·         Teens who use alcohol are far more likely to binge drink than adults.

Homecoming can come with more chances and pressures to drink. As students get ready for the big game and dance, here are 5 actions parents can take to prevent underage drinking.

Discuss your expectations about alcohol use: Parents may feel anything they say to their teen goes in one ear and out the other. In fact, parents do influence teens’ drinking decisions. Research shows children may interpret a parent’s failure to talk about underage drinking as indifference, making them more likely to use alcohol. Have regular conversations with your teen about alcohol misuse, and specifically talk about it before events, like homecoming, that may include alcohol.

Find out who your teen will be with and talk with the other students’ parents: Ask whether adults will be present if teens come by after the official event and consider the other family’s attitude toward underage drinking. Even though it is illegal and dangerous, some parents choose to provide alcohol to teens in their home. In the state of Iowa it is illegal to host a party with alcohol for youth per the statewide Social Host Ordinance.  Asking questions won’t score you any “cool” points with your kid, but it will help keep your teen safe.

Provide a sober after-party space: Many students want the night to continue after the game or dance ends. Providing an alcohol-free environment allows the party to keep going safely. And it’s important for parents to actively supervise after-parties. Adults can be held responsible for failing to supervise minors who are later caught drinking, even if the adult didn’t supply or know about the booze.

Offer to drive: Providing a guaranteed designated driver ensures your child won’t end up in a car with an intoxicated person behind the wheel. Driving your teen also removes other risks, such as texting or distracted driving, which may increase with the excitement of the evening.

Let your teen know you are “on call”: While parents should not condone underage drinking, it’s important for teens to know they can call for help if they or their friends don’t have a safe ride or are in danger.

For more information on how to talk with your teen contact the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or  You can also checkout the website for more resources at