Monday, November 30, 2015

SAFE Coalition Members Attend National Prevention Network Conference

The National Prevention Network (NPN) Conference was held November 17-19 in Seattle, Washington. The conference was two and a half days, complete with keynotes, breakouts, networking opportunities and a reception. The conference covered hot topics in the substance abuse prevention fields that include: Alcohol, Marijuana, Opioids and Prescription Drug Abuse, Workforce Development, and Substance Abuse Prevention and Collaboration with Related Fields.

Heidi Bainbridge at the
NPN Conference 
The conference hosted federal, state and local professionals from the substance abuse prevention field and related disciplines. By participating in the NPN Conference, the SAFE Coalition members had access to approximately 800 participants that 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 conference was to highlight the latest research in the substance abuse prevention field. It provided 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 participants came home, revved up and ready to implement new ideas in prevention in Van Buren County, Iowa. For more information on the SAFE Coalition please contact them at 319-293-6412 or at

Friday, November 20, 2015

SAFE Coalition Member Attended Iowa Prevention Conference

This year the annual Iowa Prevention Conference was held in Des Moines on November 10th.  The conference is a statewide forum focused on substance abuse prevention and problem gambling prevention, while offering recommendations for best practices. The goal of this conference was to establish a meaningful dialogue among substance abuse prevention and problem gambling professionals by focusing on strategies and tools that can facilitate the development of a strategic response to the various challenges in the field. This event was a collaborative effort between the Iowa Department of Public Health, contracted agencies and grantees, and other service providers and stakeholders who are committed to the educational advancement of prevention professionals.

The conference provided attendees with practical, timely and relevant skills and knowledge; offered sessions that promote critical thinking and build partnerships toward improved practices; provided attendees with opportunities to interact with national and regional leaders and practitioners; strengthened the identity as a field united in its commitment to quality prevention; and provided attendees with informative exhibits to access the latest technology, products and services.  The Iowa Prevention Conference was attended by substance abuse prevention specialists, health educators, problem gambling providers, nurses in a public or clinical setting, administrators, public health workers, civic leaders, and policy makers interested in substance abuse prevention and problem gambling. 

There was one coalition member who attended this conference this year.  During the conference they learned about how to reach the community with information on keeping youth substance abuse free, how substances effect the brain of developing youth, and how to work with law enforcement effectively to address underage drinking in the community.  For more information on the Prevention Conference or local prevention work being completed by the SAFE Coalition please contact the coalition at 319-293-6412 or

Friday, November 13, 2015

Great American Smokeout 2015

By Sydney Goemaat and Rose Rankin

The Great American Smokeout began in the 1970’s when smoking and secondhand smoke were recognized as being bad for you. In Randolph, Massachusetts, Arthur P. Mullaney asked people to give up cigarettes for a day and donate the money they would have spent on cigarettes to the high school scholarship funds. Today Great American Smokeout is where people encourage smokers to quit their addiction for at least a day. People also share information about the harms of smoking and secondhand smoke.

About 42 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. As of 2013, there were also 12.4 million cigar smokers in the US, and over 2.3 million who smoke tobacco in pipes — other dangerous and addictive forms of tobacco. You are at higher risk for cancer when using any type of tobacco, including chewing tobacco.

The Van Buren County Youth Leadership Council (YLC) will be talking about the harms of tobacco during the Great American Smokeout on November 19, 2015. The YLC Members of Van Buren High School, will be doing some activities to show what tobacco use will do to your body.  One of the activities will be the Mystery Box in the hallway by the gym lobby at lunch. This is a box where you place your hand in without looking inside, and you must touch the items inside if you dare and identify them! There will be numerous posters posted in the Van Buren High School hallways and an announcement will be made about the harms of using tobacco products.

There will also be activities taking place at the middle school at Van Buren throughout the week to educate those students about the dangers of tobacco use.  Harmony High School and Jr. High will be doing posters, candle bags and popcorn bags with tobacco facts as well throughout the week.

If you are someone that is wanting to quit your addiction go to or call 1-800-Quit-Now.  For more information on the Great American Smokeout or YLC please contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or  

Thursday, November 5, 2015

AMCC Announces 6th Annual National Day of Awareness and Disposal

The American Medicine Chest Challenge (AMCC) launched its 2015 initiative to raise awareness of Rx abuse and of the need to safely dispose of unused, unwanted, and expired medicine at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conference in Chicago. President Barak Obama addressed the 122nd Annual IACP Conference. 

The 6th Annual AMCC National Day of Awareness and Safe Disposal will be on November 14, 2015. All 50 states participate in AMCC along with Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C., and three Indian nations. Over 1,500 Rx permanent collection sites at local police departments and sheriff's offices throughout the United States are listed in AMCC’s national directory of Rx permanent collection sites. The directory along with other prescription drug abuse prevention information can be found at or by downloading the free app AMCC Rx Drop. 

AMCC is a community based public health initiative designed to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, and a nationwide day of disposal and awareness of unused, unwanted, and expired medicine across the country. AMCC encourages families to take the 5-Step American Medicine Chest Challenge which encourages families to:
(1) Take inventory of their prescription and over-the-counter medications 
(2) Secure their medicine
(3) Dispose of unused, unwanted, and expired medicine at a disposal site
(4) Take their medicine(s) exactly as prescribed
(5) Talk to their children about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

"The American Medicine Chest Challenge can help save the lives of our children," explained Angelo M. Valente, CEO of AMCC. “On November 14th we encourage all Americans to take the 5-Step American Medicine Chest Challenge and find a location to safely dispose of your unused, unwanted and expired medicine,” concluded Valente. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has labeled prescription drug abuse an epidemic, reporting that the death toll from overdoses of prescription painkillers has more than tripled in the past decade and more than 40 people die every day from overdoses involving narcotic pain relievers. According to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, 70% of people who abuse prescription pain relievers obtained them from friends or relatives, and there has been a 400% increase in substance abuse treatment admissions for people abusing prescription drugs. 

You do not have to wait for a Drug Take Back event to dispose of your prescription medication.  Lee Pharmacy in Keosauqua accepts the return of prescription medications (excluding controlled substances) during their regular business hours at their pharmacy counter.

For more information on prescription and over the counter medicine safety please contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or at