Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What is a Blog?

THIS IS.... you are currently viewing a Blog!

You have maybe heard the talk about blogs and wonder to yourself… “What is a blog anyway?”
A blog (a blend of the term web log) is a type of website or part of a website. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

Most blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other via widgets on the blogs and it is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites.

Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (Art blog), photographs (photoblog), videos (video blogging), music (MP3 blog), and audio (podcasting). Microblogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts.

The coalition also maintains a website which is updated monthly and has in-depth coalition information such as minutes, workplans, bylaws, and much more. Check it out at

For more information on the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition you may contact the coalition office at 319-293-6412.

Monday, September 13, 2010

SAFE Coalition receives DFC Funding

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition was selected to receive an additional five years of funding for the Drug Free Communities Program. Announcements were made on August 31st.
The SAFE Coalition will receive $125,000 for the next five years to continue the work that began in 2005 making Van Buren County a SAFE place to live by reducing drug, alcohol and tobacco use in youth.

*Strategies to be implemented with the funds include, but are not limited to:
*Working with businesses to address the ease of access of alcohol.
*Collaborating with key community members on a social host ordinance.
*Developing a team of school and community members to address climate at the
school districts– focusing on substance use.
*Developing standardized protocols in both school districts regarding code of
conduct and substance use policies.
*Working with law enforcement in regards to laws related to marijuana use;
ensuring consistency and enforcement.
*Developing relationships with businesses to implement drug free worksite
*Empowering parents with resources & skills to take action in preventing
substance use.
*Developing a social norming campaign related to the use of marijuana
*Addressing the local conditions of near peers and parties as sources of alcohol
for youth.

The coalition will be hiring one new part time staff person to assist in the efforts. The grant will officially begin on October 1st 2010 and run through September 30th, 2015.

For more information on the grant or any coalition activities please contact Project Director; Heidi Bainbridge at 293-6412.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month


Stages of Addiction

Note: The following examples are used for illustrative purposes only. Please contact an agency that specializes in addictions to do an assessment or evaluation if you have concerns.

Non-use – When a person does not use alcohol or other drugs. An example of this is: A 30-year old woman goes to a restaurant, party, or bar and does not consume alcohol.

Use - The ingestion of alcohol or other drugs without experiencing any negative consequences. For example, a person in a social setting consumes alcohol responsibly and is given a ride home by a sober friend.

Misuse - When a person experiences negative consequences from the use of alcohol or other drugs, it is clearly misuse. For example, a 30-year old woman uses alcohol on an infrequent basis, her employer throws a party and the 30-year old woman drinks more than usual and on the way home she is arrested for DUI. She may not really have a problem with alcohol but in this instance, she experiences a negative consequence from drinking.

Abuse - It can be considered abuse if, in spite of negative consequences, a person continues to consume drugs or alcohol. If the 30-year old woman above had no substance abuse problem she would abstain from alcohol as getting a DUI would be enough of a deterrent. However, shortly thereafter this woman goes to another party and there she drinks in excess and then gets behind the wheel of her car again. This would be considered abuse.

Dependency/Addiction - The compulsive use of alcohol or other drugs in spite of adverse, repeated, or negative consequences. For example, the woman received two DUIs in one year. She was on probation and would be sentenced to one year in prison if she was caught using alcohol or drugs, but she continued to drink. The woman would be clearly addicted to alcohol because the negative consequences did not impact or deter her use.