Thursday, May 26, 2016

Two Local Businesses Sell Alcohol to a Minor

On May 14, 2016 Alcohol Compliance Checks were completed at 21 alcohol establishments in Van Buren County. Two businesses, Casey’s and Riverview Country Club, made sales to a person under the age of 21. The clerks making alcohol sales were issued citations for furnishing alcohol to a person under the legal age. The business may face additional fines from the alcohol and beverage division of Iowa.

The ultimate goal of the compliance checks are to keep youth from accessing alcohol from local retail outlets. The community wants to be sure that all merchants are taking action against youth alcohol access. This can be accomplished by ensuring that all employees are properly trained in checking identification cards. It is important that all employees check the ID of anyone who looks under the age of 40. This process will ensure that youth are unable to purchase alcohol from local retailers.

Congratulations to the businesses who checked the ID and refused the sale, they included: AJ’s, American Legion, Boyd Grocery, Casey’s, Circle B, Crane Winery, Dollar General, Douds Kwik Stop, First Street Grille, Birmingham Jet Stop, Bonaparte Jet Stop, Milton Jet Stop, Moore’s Grocery, Pam’s Place, River’s Edge Pub & Grub, Tillie’s Tap, Town & Country Tavern and the Vet’s Club.   

In an effort to protect the young people of our community, The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office will continue to do random alcohol compliance checks of all alcohol establishments in the county. If your business would like to take part in a FREE merchant alcohol training you may contact the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Adventureland Tickets

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition has discounted tickets for Adventureland.  The cost per ticket is $22.  The tickets are now good any day until June 30, 2016.  This is due to the inability of the park to open during the first Substance Free weekend due to inclement weather.  These tickets to Adventureland are to increase awareness of Drug Prevention Programs in the state of Iowa.    

This Substance Free event is a great way to spend a fun filled day with family and friends.  You may purchase these tickets for your entire family while supplies last.  Admission will not be available at this price at Adventureland during this event.  If you are interested in going to Adventureland between now and June 30th please contact the SAFE Coalition by phone at 319-293-6412.  

DEA Collects Record-Setting Amount of Meds at Latest National Rx Take-Back Day

Americans turned in more unused prescription drugs at the most recent DEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day than on any of the previous 10 events since it began in 2010, demonstrating their understanding of the value of this service. 

On April 30, 2016 the DEA and over 4,200 of its state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners collected 893,498 pounds of unwanted medicines—about 447 tons—at almost 5,400 sites spread through all 50 states, beating its previous high of 390 tons in the spring of 2014 by 57 tons, or more than 114,000 pounds.  The top five states with the largest collections, in order, were Texas (almost 40 tons); California (32 tons); Wisconsin (31 tons); Illinois (24 tons); and Massachusetts (24 tons).  The Van Buren County Sherriff’s Reserve Officers and Van Buren County SAFE Coalition sponsored a local Drug Take-Back Event at the Keosauqua Senior Center.  There were 24 pounds of prescription medication collected by the Van Buren County Sherriff’s Reserve Officers! 

The majority of prescription drug abusers report in surveys that they get their drugs from friends and family.  Americans understand that cleaning out old prescription drugs from medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers, and bedside tables reduces accidents, thefts, and the misuse and abuse of these medicines, including the opioid painkillers that accounted for 20,808 drug overdoses—78 a day—in 2014 (the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).  Eight out of 10 new heroin users began by abusing prescription painkillers and moved to heroin when they could no longer obtain or afford those painkillers.

“These results show that more Americans than ever are taking the important step of cleaning out their medicine cabinets and making homes safe from potential prescription drug abuse or theft,” said DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg.  “Unwanted, expired or unused prescription medications are often an unintended catalyst for addiction.  Take-Back events like these raise awareness of the opioid epidemic and offer the public a safe and anonymous way to help prevent substance abuse.”

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

If you would like to know more about how to dispose of your Prescription Medications or Prescription Drug Abuse please find additional details at the following link: or contact the SAFE Coalition office at 319-293-6412 or at

The source for this article is the DEA Website at:

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Marijuana in Iowa: What You Should Know About Marijuana Concentrates (THC Extracts)

Highly potent THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) products are obtained by extracting THC out of the marijuana plant.  THC is the chemical in marijuana that produces a “high”.

Typical marijuana seized by law enforcement contains an average of about 12% THC.  Concentrates contain very high levels of THC, ranging from 40% to 80%.  Concentrates often appear similar to honey or butter.  Street names for these extracted concentrates include: Budder, Honey Oil, Wax, Ear Wax, Shatter, Black Glass, Dabs (dabbing), Butane Hash Oil, Butane Honey Oil (BHO), Errl and 710 (the word OIL flipped and spelled backwards). 

Hash oils and marijuana waxes are often produced in what are called Butane Hash Oil labs.  Butane gas is a highly flammable component used in the process of making concentrates from the marijuana plant.  An increasing number of BHO labs are being reported in the western United States, as are BHO lab fires, explosions and injuries.  In Iowa, law enforcement is reporting BHO lab activity in some communities. 

While marijuana concentrates are relatively new, one recent study of high-potency marijuana (16% THC) showed a psychotic disorder was five times more likely among regular daily users, and three times more likely among weekend users. (Kings College, London, 2015)  The effects of using marijuana containing lower THC levels have become well documented by research.  (“Adverse Effects of Marijuana,” New England Journal of Medicine, June 2014)  Some of these are: Short Term – impaired short-term memory, impaired motor coordination, altered judgement, paranoia and psychosis (in large doses); Long Term – addiction: 9% for all users (17% of teens), altered brain development, cognitive impairment (lower IQ) among frequent users during adolescence and symptoms of chronic bronchitis. 
THC extracts smuggled from other states and BHO lab remnants are being found with increasing frequency in Iowa.  The Iowa Crime Lab reports an upsurge in the number of marijuana submissions involving concentrates in the form of marijuana oils, waxes, vaping cartridges, candies and other food items (some labeled for sale and some home-made).  (Iowa Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Investigation, May 2015)

This information has been gathered and supplied by the Alliance of Coalitions for Change (AC4C).  For more information on the dangers of marijuana use in Iowa please contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or at  You can also find more information at, or

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

It’s Up to All of Us to Prevent Underage Drinking in Van Buren County

In 2013, nearly a quarter of people aged 12 to 20 (8.7 million, or 22.7 percent of this age group) reported drinking alcohol in the past month.  The consequences of underage drinking can be devastating; each year, more than 4,300 people under age 21 die from homicides, suicides, car crashes, and drowning related to drinking alcohol.

Media campaigns are one effective way of counteracting advertising and messages in entertainment media that glorify underage drinking. However, kids also deserve to hear positive messages from people they know and who care about them. Talking to youth about substance use and abuse and being involved in their lives can make a difference. For example, the frequency of binge drinking, illicit drug use, and cigarette smoking is lower among youth aged 12-17 whose parents always or sometimes engage in monitoring behaviors, like helping with homework, compared to youth whose parents seldom or never engage in such behaviors.

The words and actions of one person can make a positive difference in the lives of others. Every day, parents, caregivers, educators, and community leaders in Van Buren County can make a difference by having conversations with youth about substance use and by modeling healthy choices and behaviors.  On the 2014 Iowa Youth Survey 15% of 11th Grade Students in Van Buren County reported having five or more drinks of alcohol in a row at least once in the past 30 days and 27% of them also reported having had at least one drink on at least one occasion in the past 30 days.

As individuals and as a community, we can help prevent underage drinking by being involved in young people’s lives; identifying resources, support systems, and alternatives for youth in the community; and raising awareness about the importance of prevention.

As part of National Prevention Week—a national observance sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The SAFE Coalition will embrace the National Prevention Week 2015 theme, The Voice of One, the Power of All. Through this article it would like to spark conversation about underage drinking and support healthy decision-making among youth.

This is a great opportunity for members of Van Buren County to raise awareness about this important issue, emphasize healthy choices, and encourage each other to make a meaningful difference in our own lives, our children’s lives, and our community.  Each of us has the power to make a difference in reducing underage drinking. Together, we can achieve even more.

The SAFE Coalition can be reached at or 319-293-6412 for more information on National Prevention Week or helping the youth of Van Buren County to understand the dangers of underage drinking.