Thursday, February 24, 2011

JEL Street Marketing Event a Big Success!

Van Buren Middle School JEL members held a street marketing event at a middle school basketball game and during parent teacher conferences on February 14th, 2011 and again during parent teacher conferences on February 16th, 2011.

During the event the youth held a scavenger hunt which engaged the participants in finding the answers to tobacco facts, they had a human cigarette handing out palm cards with secondhand smoke information, and provided an educational display table that showed the ingredients in a cigarette, the damages that tobacco can have on your lungs, and the amount of tar that builds up in your lungs from using tobacco.

The event was a success as many people stopped by the table to look at the information and the students were able to distribute facts to many people in attendance. Watch for more JEL street marketing events in the future!

Pictured: Sarah Frey, Shayla Filson (Cigarette), Madison Zimmer, and Ryan Booth. Members not pictured that helped on February 16th are: Hallie Whitten, Jenna Sandry, Rachel Warrick and Mariah Giberson.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

One in three young people experience abuse in their relationships. You can help raise awareness today – visit and for more information!

Love has many definitions, but abuse isn't one of them. Celebrate February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month and help young people across the country have safe and healthy relationships.

Post one of these messages on Twitter to further spread your message:
• Help young people break the cycle of abuse in their relationships.
• 1 in 3 teen’s experiences abuse in their relationships. Help break the cycle of violence.

SF 86 - Dating Violence Policy Legislation introduced in Iowa Legislature
Dating abuse is a widespread problem; nationally up to 40% of teens have been in abusive relationships and of those that have 43% experienced abuse while at school. It is critical that schools adopt policies to address this abuse. We support legislation that would require the department of education to develop and distribute model dating violence policy to assist all schools in developing policies for dating violence. Schools must get involved because teens are statistically at a higher risk for intimate partner abuse than adults. If domestic violence is ever going to be stopped we must start with our teens where they are most likely to be influenced… at school.

Free Webinar: Sexual Coercion in Teen Relationship
Tuesday, February 15th - 1:00 PM to 2:15 PM (CST) Go to and scroll down to webinars for the link to register.

Local Programming
Tri-State Coalition provides prevention programming for youth that specifically address the issue of dating violence. Along with the multi-session curriculum detailed here, prevention specialists provide in-service and professional trainings to area groups upon request.

Safe Dates: a dating violence prevention curriculum for middle and high school students to stop the initiation of psychological, physical, and sexual abuse in dating relationships.

Expect Respect: evidence based prevention curriculum for students in grades 6-12 that addresses the issues of dating violence and healthy relationships that are growing amongst teens. The curriculum focuses on appropriate boundary setting, positive communications, and self awareness.

Flirting or Hurting? Curriculum addresses the issue of student to student sexual harassment in schools. Through interactive class discussions and homework assignments, students will learn: how to differentiate between flirting and harassing behaviors, what clearly constitutes sexual harassment, and outlines school's responsibility to respond.

For more information or to schedule a presentation or curriculum, please call prevention specialists, Kim Siegfried and Pam Fowler at 319-524-8520. If you would like additional local assistance you may contact the SAFE Coalition at , by phone at 319-293-6412 or online at

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Van Buren County SAFE Coalition Receives National Award- Coalition of the Year

CADCA’s Got Outcomes! Award recognizes coalitions that achieve measurable success in community-level substance abuse-related outcomes by implementing a comprehensive and feasible plan guided by local data. This year, a panel of coalition experts at the federal, state and local levels named Van Buren County SAFE Coalition in Keosauqua, Iowa as the Coalition of the Year.

Coalition members Heidi Bainbridge, Tonja Jirak, Abby Rider, and Lydia Heald attended the National Leadership Forum in Washington D.C. on February 10th to receive the award. They accepted the award on behalf of the entire coalition.

“The professional growth over the past five years among AOD prevention coalitions has been phenomenal. Many coalitions across the country are achieving prevention outcomes and contributing to community-wide change. Each year the expectations for the Got Outcomes! Candidates increase significantly. The communities that the Got Outcomes! Winners work with are the true winners,” said Michael Browning, consultant and review panel member.

“Coalitions receive this award for demonstrating strong local data collection and data-driven planning and implementation of a comprehensive set of evidence-based programs, practices and policies” said Dr. Evelyn Yang, Deputy Director of Evaluation and Research at CADCA.

The Coalition of the Year award recognizes an advanced coalition for successfully implementing comprehensive and collective strategies to achieve one or more targeted community-level reductions (long-term outcomes) for multiple substances. After gathering and analyzing key local assessment data, the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition prioritized their focus on alcohol and tobacco availability and acceptability. They implemented a variety of strategic, data-driven community-level strategies including supporting compliance check operations, drafting and enhancing school and community policies, disseminating information and increasing awareness of the problems. The coalition has good trend data to support their contribution to a number of reductions in alcohol and tobacco use among teens. For example, among 11th grade students, past 30 day alcohol use decreased from 51 percent in 1999 to 34 percent in 2008 and past 30 day tobacco use decreased from 42 percent in 1999 to 19 percent in 2008.

“These organizations are true leaders in the field of substance abuse prevention, exemplifying the excellent work that coalitions are doing around the country to prevent and reduce drug use,” said Gen. Arthur T. Dean, CADCA’s chairman and CEO. “By using sound and strategic data-driven practices, CADCA’s Got Outcomes! Winners are challenging community social norms and perceptions related to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Congratulations to our winners for contributing to reductions in substance abuse and associated problems at the local level.”

Congratulations to all members of the SAFE Coalition for their dedication to make Van Buren County a SAFE place to live. The continued hard work of coalition members is what makes a difference in the lives of the youth of the county. For more information on the award or The SAFE Coalition please visit their website at or check them out on Facebook.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Washington, D.C. - Today, Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy, released the following statement following recent reports indicating the emerging threat of synthetic stimulants, including MDPV (3, 4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone) and mephedrone. These stimulants are often sold and marketed in stores as "bath salts" under names such as "Ivory Wage" or "Purple Wave."

"I am deeply concerned about the distribution, sale, and use of synthetic stimulants – especially those that are marketed as legal substances. Although we lack sufficient data to understand exactly how prevalent the use of these stimulants are, we know they pose a serious threat to the health and well being of young people and anyone who may use them. At a time when drug use in America is increasing, the marketing and sale of these poisons as "bath salts" is both unacceptable and dangerous. As public health officials work to address this emerging threat, I ask that parents and other adult influencers act immediately to discuss with young people the severe harm that can be caused by the use of both legal and illegal drugs and to prevent drug use before it starts."

Recent information from poison control centers indicates that abuse of these unlicensed and unregulated drugs is growing across the country. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, there were 251 calls related to "bath salts" to poison control centers so far this year. This number already exceeds the 236 calls received by poison control centers for all of 2010. Doctors and clinicians at U.S. poison centers have indicated that ingesting "bath salts," containing synthetic stimulants, can cause chest pains, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia, and delusions. Already, several states have introduced legislation to ban these products, including Hawaii, Michigan, Louisiana, Kentucky, and North Dakota. Several counties, cities, and local municipalities have also taken action to ban these products.

Director Kerlikowske also cited two steps parents can take today to protect young people:
1. Talk to your kids about drugs. Research shows parents are the best messengers to deliver critical information on drug use. Make sure they know of the harms that can result from drug use and that you don't approve of them. For tips and parenting advice visit
2. Learn to spot risk factors that can lead to drug use. Association with drug-abusing peers is often the most immediate risk factor that can lead young people to drug use and delinquent behavior. Other risk factors include poor classroom behavior or social skills and academic failure. Parents can protect their kids from these influences by building strong bonds with their children, staying involved in their lives, and setting clear limits and consistent enforcement of discipline.

For more information on this and other drug related issues go to or contact the SAFE Coalition by email at or by phone at 319-293-6412.

News Cast on "Bath Salts"

Take time to check out this News Cast on the Today show about bath salts that are being used as a replacement for Cocaine! Something to help us all be aware of what is going on with our kids!

For more information on this and other drug related issues contact the SAFE Coalition by email at or by phone at 319-293-6412.