Thursday, September 20, 2012

Van Buren County Sheriff’s Reserve and SAFE Coalition will be Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs on September 29, 2012 at the Farmington Fire Station

On September 29th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Reserve Officers, the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications for disposal to the Farmington Fire Department on the corner of Pearl & 4th Street in Farmington, IA. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last April, Americans turned in 552,161 pounds—276 tons—of prescription drugs at over 5,600 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,300 state and local law enforcement partners. In its four previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 1.5 million pounds—nearly 775 tons—of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that linger 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.

Four days after the first event Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances. DEA is drafting regulations to implement the Act. Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies like the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Reserve and SAFE Coalition and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events. Unused or expired prescriptions can also be returned to Lee Pharmacy, Keosauqua, IA for safe disposal at anytime.

For more information on the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and Initiative please visit the DEA Site at: or contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or or visit the Coalition website at

Friday, September 14, 2012

Have a Meal Together- September 24th- Family Day – Meals Together Really Do Make a Difference!

Compared to teens who have frequent family dinners (five to seven per week), those who have infrequent family dinners (fewer than three per week) are more than twice as likely to say that they expect to try drugs in the future, according to The Importance of Family Dinners VI, a new report from The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA*) at Columbia University. The CASA family dinners report reveals that nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of teens think that eating dinner frequently with their parents is very or fairly important.

Compared to teens that have frequent family dinners, those who have infrequent family dinners are:

• Twice as likely to have used tobacco;
• Almost twice as likely to have used alcohol; and
• One and half times likelier to have used marijuana.

The report found that compared to teens who talk to their parents about what’s going on in their lives at dinner, teens who don’t are twice as likely to have used tobacco and one and a half times likelier to have used marijuana.

“The message for parents couldn’t be any clearer. With the recent rise in the number of Americans age 12 and older who are using drugs, it is more important than ever to sit down to dinner and engage your children in conversation about their lives, their friends, school--just talk. Ask questions and really listen to their answers,” said Kathleen Ferrigno, CASA’s Director of Marketing who directs the Family Day-A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children TM initiative. “The magic that happens over family dinners isn’t the food on the table, but the communication and conversations around it. Of course there is no iron-clad guarantee that your kids will grow up drug free, but knowledge is power and the more you know the better the odds are that you will raise a healthy kid.”

The report also reveals that teens who have fewer than three family dinners per week are twice as likely to be able to get marijuana or prescription drugs (to get high) in an hour or less. Teens that are having five or more family dinners per week are more likely to say that they do not have any access to marijuana and prescription drugs (to get high).

This year the trend survey found that 60 percent of teens report having dinner with their families at least five times a week, a proportion that has remained consistent over the past decade.

Family Day—A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children TM Family Day is a national movement launched by CASA in 2001 to remind parents that frequent family dinners make a difference. Celebrated on the fourth Monday in September—the 24th in 2012—Family Day promotes parental engagement as a simple and effective way to reduce children’s risk of smoking, drinking and using illegal drugs. What began as a small grassroots initiative has grown to become a nationwide celebration which is expected to once again be proclaimed and supported by the President and all 50 U.S. Governors as well as leading sponsors Stouffer's and The Coca-Cola Company. More information about Family Day, including conversation starters and a pledge can be found at:

CASA and its staff of some 60 professionals aim to inform Americans of the economic and social costs of substance abuse and its impact on their lives, find out what works in prevention and treatment of this disease, and remove the stigma of substance abuse and replace shame and despair with hope.

For more information on CASA visit

For more information on talking to your kids about drugs or taking a more active role in their lives contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or

Friday, September 7, 2012

Parents Find Talking with Kids about Drugs Complicated by Legalization Measures

Parents are finding it more difficult to have discussions with their children about why they shouldn’t use drugs, as a growing number of states are allowing medical marijuana, or considering legalizing recreational use of the drug, the Associated Press reports.

Colorado and Washington State will vote on legalizing recreational use of marijuana for adults on November 6. Currently, 17 states have legalized medical marijuana. More than a dozen states, and many cities, no longer have criminal penalties for small-scale possession of marijuana, or have made it a low-priority crime for law enforcement.

Parent-child conversations about marijuana “have become extraordinarily complicated,” said Stephen Pasierb, President of The Partnership at, a national non-profit organization helping parents and families solve the problem of teen substance abuse. Legalization and medical use of marijuana have “created a perception among kids that this is no big deal,” Pasierb said. “You need a calm, rational conversation, not yelling and screaming, and you need the discipline to listen to your child.”

A survey released last month by The Partnership at suggests teen marijuana use has become a normalized behavior. Only 26 percent agree with the statement, “In my school, most teens don’t smoke marijuana,” down from 37 percent in 2008.

On the 2010 Iowa Youth Survey 76% of the 11th graders said they believe it is dangerous to use marijuana and 95% of them believe it is wrong to use marijuana. Finally, 3% of the local 11th graders reported using marijuana in the past 30 days. These statistics show that marijuana use is not a large problem at this time in Van Buren County, but it is something that we as a community need to stay aware of and continue to educate our children about the dangers of using marijuana. These conversations are necessary as 49 % of local 11th graders reported that it is very easy or easy to get marijuana in their community.

For information on how to talk with your children about marijuana please contact the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or via email at Check out, the coalition’s website and blog at or visit the coalitions Face Book page at Van Buren County SAFE Coalition.