Thursday, September 24, 2015


The SAFE Coalition is joining forces with CASA Columbia to celebrate Family Day – Be Involved. Stay Involved® on September 28, 2015.

CASA Columbia Family Day is a national initiative to promote simple acts of parental engagement as key ways to help prevent risky substance use in children and teens. Research shows that children with hands-on parents are far less likely to smoke, drink or use other drugs.

The SAFE Coalition believes that parental engagement is important to the health and well-being of the youth in Van Buren County and would like to encourage parents to take the Family Day Star Pledge at

 “Every child deserves to grow up healthy and happy with an adolescence that is free from addiction. Parents, one of the best ways you can help keep your kids stay substance free is to be engaged in their lives – that includes being there for them at dinner,” says Jeffrey B. Lane, CASA Columbia’s Chairman. “The conversations that take place during family dinners give you a window into what your kids are going through and helps you keep the lines of communication open with them.”

Adolescence is the critical period for the initiation of risky substance use and its consequences.
• Nine out of 10 Americans who meet the medical criteria for addiction started smoking, drinking, or using other drugs before age 18.
• Addiction is a disease that in most cases begins in adolescence so preventing or delaying teens from using nicotine, alcohol, or other drugs for as long as possible is crucial to their health and safety.
• Preventing or delaying teens from using alcohol, nicotine or other drugs for as long as possible is crucial to their health and safety.

The SAFE Coalition is committed to strengthening families and believes that celebrating Family Day is an important first step in helping to keeping America’s children and teens free of addiction. For additional information about Family Day, visit

Remember, parental engagement matters!

Thursday, September 17, 2015


On September 26 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 its tenth opportunity in five years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.  Bring your pills for disposal to the Keosauqua Senior Center at 801 Front Street, Keosauqua, IA 52565.  (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.)  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last September, Americans turned in 309 tons (over 617,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners.  When those results are combined with what was collected in its eight previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 4.8 million pounds—more than 2,400 tons—of pills. 
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that languish 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.
You do not have to wait for a Drug Take Back event to dispose of your medication.  Lee Pharmacy in Keosauqua accepts the return of prescription medications (excluding controlled substances) during their regular hours at their pharmacy counter.
The Sheriff’s Reserve Officers and the SAFE Coalition are asking for your help in promoting the event, please let anyone who may have unused medication know about this! For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the September 26, 2015 Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Office of  Diversion Control site at or contact the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or at

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Want to make a difference in Van Buren County?

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition is continually looking for volunteers who are interested in making Van Buren County a SAFE place to live.

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition came together originally in 1993, after the floods, as a way to get community members together to work on a specific issue.  This group was organized to assist with flood efforts and clean-up after the flood.  The group met sporadically over the next few years.  It was not until December of 2002 that the group became organized.  There were 11 members at the first organized meeting, and the group has now grown to over 60 members. 

The coalition is currently working on building their capacity/ability to address underage drinking and underage binge drinking in Van Buren County with Iowa Partnership for Success Funds. This process requires input from all areas of the community. If you are a parent, business owner, concerned citizen, faith based representative, youth worker, youth, or anyone else who wants to make a difference, the coalition needs you. Your input is valuable and we want to hear from you.

If you are interested in finding out more about the coalition or think that you would like to get involved the coalition would love to have you join! Coalition meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 9:00 am at the VBCH Community Services Center Conference Room in Keosauqua.

Next Meeting:
September 15, 2015
9:00 am
VBCH Community Services Center Conference Room

If you are interested in joining but not able to attend the meeting, please contact us at 319-293-6412 or via email at and you can be added to our member list.

Check us out on the web for more information: