Monday, September 21, 2009

Prevention Saves Money

Preventing substance use/abuse is cost effective:
o Every dollar invested in research based substance use/abuse prevention programs, strategies and activities have the potential to save up to $7 in areas such as substance abuse treatment and criminal justice system costs.

Preventing substance use/abuse saves lives:
o Alcohol abuse kills approximately 100,000 Americans every year, and is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
o Alcohol-involved crashes resulted in 16,792 fatalities, 513,000 nonfatal injuries, and $50.9 billion in economic costs in 2000, accounting for 22 percent of all crash costs.
o Drugs are used by approximately 10 to 22 percent of drivers involved in crashes, often in combination with alcohol.
o Drugged driving causes $33 billion in damages every year.

Preventing substance use/abuse reduces related medical consequences:
o Each year approximately 40 million debilitating illnesses or injuries occur among Americans as the result of their use of tobacco, alcohol or illicit drugs.
o The estimated total cost of medical consequences (including hospital and ambulatory care, drug exposed infants; tuberculosis; HIV/AIDS; Hepatitis B and C; crime victim health care costs; and health insurance administration) associated with drug abuse in the United States was $5.7 billion.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Alcohol Merchant Incentive Program.

Alcohol consumption by the youth of Van Buren County is a problem of great concern to the community. According to the Iowa Youth Survey, alcohol is the most widely used substance of abuse among Van Buren County’s youth. Underage alcohol use is a public health and safety problem in Van Buren County, creating serious personal, social, and economic consequences for adolescents, their families and the community as well.

In 2007 the Surgeon General issued a “Call to Action” to prevent and reduce underage drinking. In it, law enforcement agencies were encouraged to “enforce uniformly and consistently all policies and laws against underage alcohol use”.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, routine, comprehensive compliance checks are the key strategy for deterring commercial alcohol sales to minors.

In an effort to assist businesses in training their employees on the applicable Iowa laws with regard to alcohol sales to minors as well as sales to intoxicated customers, the Van Buren SAFE Coalition provides a Merchant Alcohol Training that is free to all businesses and their employees in Van Buren County. Persons who attend the training learn about a variety of topics, some of which are listed below: * How to spot underage drinkers * Prevent sales to minors * How to recognize the signs of intoxication * How to intervene quickly and effectively in potential problem situations * Skills in handling refusal situations with greater confidence

In order to encourage all alcohol merchants in Van Buren County to have all of their employees trained, an incentive program has been established. The details of the program are as follows:

Businesses can avoid being reported to Alcohol Beverage Division and subjected to an administrative penalty as a result of the compliance check under the following conditions:

A licensee fails a compliance check by one of their employees selling alcohol to an underage person, and the employee who failed the compliance check has a current Merchant Alcohol Training certificate from the Van Buren SAFE Coalition(*).
The violation must be the first offense in a two year time period. The two-year period will begin on the date of the first violation occurring after this program has been established.

(*) Any business wishing to complete an alternative training program must get approval of the training program by the Sheriff’s Department prior to the compliance check. However, it is the business owner/manager’s responsibility to notify Chief Deputy Brad Hudison with the Sheriff’s Department of such trainings prior to the compliance check in order to meet the criteria of this incentive program.

This program will be effective immediately and any persons who have a current Merchant Alcohol Training certificate will meet the criteria of the incentive program. Certificates are valid for two years from the date of training. Anyone wishing to obtain a list of employees with a current certificate should contact Tonja Jirak, STOP Project Director with the Van Buren SAFE Coalition at 319-288-0912.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Parents- Take the Pop Culture Quiz

Parents Pop Culture Quiz
Between the fast-paced world of teen culture and the negative influences that bombard your teen, parenting is a challenging and unpredictable task. How in tune are you with your teen’s world?Test your knowledge with this short quiz.
1) According to urban legend, what do teens think niacin (vitamin B) can be used for?
A Passing drug tests
B Getting rid of “the munchies” from smoking marijuana
C Snorting to get a burst of energy like speed
D Both A and B

2) If your teen were to “ROTFL,” what would she be doing?
A Electronically recording a TV program
B Text-messaging someone about her new boyfriend
C Instant-messaging someone about something really funny
D E-mailing a friend about something confusing

3) Which of the following video game ratings may not be appropriate for your teen?
C E10
D Both A and B

4) If a teen is “leaning,” what might he be doing?
A Snorting heroin and cold medicine
B Getting ready to give someone a kiss
C Drinking cough syrup and soda
D Getting ready to fight

5) What are the most popular inhalants among teens?
A Glue and shoe polish
B Nitrous oxide “whippets”
C Spray paints
D Cleaning fluids

1) D Both A and B
According to urban legend, niacin (vitamin B3) can be taken to cleanse the body of drugs to pass drug tests as well as counteract the intense hunger (commonly called “the munchies”) brought on by marijuana use. In high doses, niacin can cause nausea, vomiting, blood poisoning and liver failure.

2) C Instant-messaging someone about something really funny
ROTFL is instant-messenger and cell phone “text language” for “rolling on the floor laughing.” Text language frequently uses acronyms to shorten longer sentences or phrases.

3) D Both A and B
In the video game rating system, “M” stands for “mature” (aged 17 and older), and “AO” stands for “adults only” (aged 18 and older). Games with these ratings contain content such as violence, gore, and sexual content that may not be suitable for persons younger than 18, respectively.

4) C Drinking cough syrup and soda
“Lean” is an illegal drug concoction of prescription cough syrup containing the painkiller codeine mixed with soda or another sweet beverage.

5) A Glue and shoe polish
Many household products can be abused as inhalants. Among children age 12-17 using inhalants for the first time, glue and shoe polish are the most commonly abused. Chronic abuse of solvents can cause severe, long-term damage to the brain, the liver, and the kidneys; and highly concentrated amounts of the chemicals in inhalants can directly induce heart failure and death, a syndrome known as “sudden sniffing death.”

For more information on talking to your teen about these or any other drugs or alcohol visit the anti drug at

Tuesday, September 1, 2009




Compared to teens who have not seen their parent(s) drunk, those who have are more than twice as likely to get drunk in a typical month, and three times likelier to use marijuana and smoke cigarettes, according to the National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XIV: Teens and Parents, the 14th annual back-to-school survey conducted by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.

“Some Moms’ and Dads’ behavior and attitudes make them parent enablers—parents who send their 12- to 17-year olds a message that it’s okay to smoke, drink, get drunk and use illegal drugs like marijuana,” said Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA’s chairman and founder and former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. “Teens’ behavior is strongly associated with their parents’ behavior and expectations, so parents who expect their children to drink and use drugs will have children who drink and use drugs.”

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