Thursday, May 25, 2017

DEA Brings in Record Amount of Unused Prescription Drugs on National Prescription Take Back Day

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and more than 4,200 of its law enforcement and community partners collected more unused prescription drugs than at any of the 12 previous National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events.

On Saturday, April 29, the event brought in 900,386 pounds (450 tons) at close to 5,500 sites across the nation. Marking the 13th National Prescription Take Back Day since September 2010, these events have altogether collected 8,103,363 pounds (4,052 tons) of prescription drugs.  Locally the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office collected 4 pounds that day and 72 pounds through the drop box at the Sheriff’s Office. 

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Initiative addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. The DEA’s Take Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.

"Too often, unused prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands.  That's dangerous and often tragic,” said Acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg.  “That's why it was great to see thousands of folks from across the country clean out their medicine cabinets and turn in - safely and anonymously - a record amount of prescription drugs." 

DEA’s next National Prescription Take Back Day is Saturday, October 28, 2017.

In the more than two years since new regulations made the disposal of controlled prescription drugs easier for patients and their caregivers, law enforcement agencies, pharmacies, hospitals and clinics have begun continuous collection of these medications. Between Take Back Days please utilized the Drop Box at the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office during business hours for all medications or Lee’s Pharmacy for non-controlled medications.  Neither of these places can take back sharps/needles.  Please discuss with your doctor how to dispose of your sharps/needles. 

For more information on how to dispose of your unused or expired medications please contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or info@vbsafecoalition.com.  You may also want to visit the DEA Site at https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/

Article from the DEA Press Release on May 8, 2017 in Washington D.C.

Working Together to Make Van Buren County SAFE

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition is working to combat underage drinking. Residents may not realize that preventing alcohol abuse begins with effective policies and procedures. “It’s common to think of law enforcement as the primary way to stop teen drinking through arrests and citations,” said Kris Rankin, Van Buren County’s Iowa Partnerships for Success Coordinator. “It is clear that law enforcement is a vital part of the network that is working to prevent and stop underage drinking and youth binge drinking; however, actions taken at the city and private facility level are also key to creating a healthy and safe environment for teens and adults.”

A good example of this is Keosauqua’s Bandshell Rental Policy that requires adult supervision of events with participants under 21 years of age, that no alcohol be provided to anyone under the age of 21 at an event, a higher deposit for events with alcohol being served or sold at them, that alcohol be consumed in a fenced portion of the property where participants under the age of 21 are not allowed, and if cash bars are used, they must provide proof of dram shop insurance and have a valid liquor sales license. 

The SAFE Coalition is available to work with residents, organizations and community leaders to prevent underage drinking and to help develop appropriate policies for their location. Residents are encouraged to learn about and advocate for strong alcohol-related policies. The coalition offers free Merchant Alcohol Trainings where servers are trained in the best practices of alcohol service to keep alcohol out of the hands of youth in the county.  The coalition also has an ID Scanner that can be rented to use during any event in the Van Buren County area. 

The SAFE Coalition received the Iowa Partnerships for Success Grant in February, 2015 to address underage drinking and underage binge drinking in Van Buren County.  The Iowa Partnerships for Success Grant is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention and is administered by the Iowa Department of Public Health.


For more information on underage drinking, visit http://www.whatdoyouthrowaway.org/ or contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or info@vbsafecoalition.com.  

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Adventureland Tickets - Dates of Use Extended

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition has discounted tickets for Adventureland.  The cost per ticket is $22.  The tickets are good any day until June 30, 2017.  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/group 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.  

Graduation 2017!!!

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition has found that one of the largest problems facing our community today is the underage use of alcohol.  As graduation time draws near, we encourage all families with high school seniors to not provide alcohol at your graduation parties as the parties are in honor of your student.  Also please take time to discuss the potential dangers that occur when alcohol is available at graduation celebrations or other parties your senior may attend these last days of the school year. They should consider the consequences they could face for consuming alcohol under the legal age.

Underage drinking can have varied consequences for the youth of Van Buren County.  Making the decision to consume alcohol under the age of 21 could take away the chances of receiving financial aid in college.  If convicted of alcohol use, it will be on their permanent record, which is something Federal Aid takes into serious consideration.  They may not be able to practice the following careers in Iowa if convicted as well: accountant, architect, attorney, chiropractor, dentist, engineer, law enforcement, medical doctor, nurse, optometrist, pharmacist, physical therapist, physician assistant, psychologist, real estate broker, court reporter, social reporter, teacher, or veterinarian. 

Most people would never think of violating laws related to drug use, but the community norm regarding use of alcohol is often thought of differently.  Clear expectations and boundaries are important components of healthy community norms and values.  Positive adult role models also play a significant role in establishing these norms.  While it is legal for adults to consume alcohol, graduation parties are NOT held in honor of adults.  Such celebrations are held in honor of the young person for their achievements and graduation from high school.

Please examine your personal beliefs about alcohol use by young people and the example set by our community during graduation time.  We are hoping you will plan to join the many families who are celebrating their student’s graduation in an alcohol-free environment. Congratulations and best wishes to your high school senior and your entire family on behalf of the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition!

For more information about underage drinking or the SAFE Coalition please feel free to contact the office at 319-293-6412 or via email at info@vbsafecoalition.com.  If you are interested in what the SAFE Coalition has been doing please check it out on the web: www.vbsafecoalition.com or Van Buren County SAFE Coalition on Face Book!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Cinco de Mayo

. Strike up the mariachi band and prepare for the night’s fiesta—it’s Cinco de Mayo and it’s time to have fun! Prepare by designating a sober driver before you head out on the town. Having just one is one too many if you are the designated driver. #BuzzedDriving is drunk driving. 


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Adventureland Tickets - Dates for Use Extended

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition has discounted tickets for Adventureland.  The cost per ticket is $22.  The tickets are good any day until June 30, 2017.  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/group 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. 

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 % 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 2017 theme, The Voice of One, the Power of All. This theme highlights the important role that individuals and communities alike have in helping people lead healthy, productive lives and in raising awareness about the importance of substance use prevention and promotion of mental health.

Through this article the coalition would like to spark conversations 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 info@vbsafecoalition.com 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.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Public Places Safety for Families

Remember the last time your family made a trip to the local city park? The kids are in the back seat
talking about which part of the playground they will play on first. One is looking forward to the swings; the other can’t wait to go down the curvy slide. When you pull into the park, you notice the large number of cars. There are people sitting in their lawn chairs and hanging out on the picnic tables consuming alcohol. You notice a few teenagers from your neighborhood also consuming the alcohol as well. Does this concern you?

Forty-four percent (44%) of Van Buren County youth report that it is easy or very easy to get alcoholic beverages.  Fourteen percent (14%) of Van Buren County 11th grade students report getting their alcohol from a friend over the age of 21 and twelve percent (12%) say they got it at a party (2014 Iowa Youth Survey).  Youth and young adults reported during community focus groups that there is access to alcohol in public places, specifically at co-ed softball tournaments.  As parents and adults, we talk to our kids and we explain the dangers of alcohol to them. We know that alcohol is associated with many issues including death, injury, crime, violence, teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and violations of the good conduct policies. Yet, some older friends and siblings of our children are providing alcohol to them against our wishes.

Communities that permit alcohol use on public property, such as parks and outdoor recreation facilities, allow situations where underage drinking may occur. These public spaces make it easier for youth to get alcohol because they are not subject to the server laws that bars, restaurants, gas stations and grocery stores must follow. By developing policies regarding alcohol use in these public places, communities help eliminate potential problem areas. The positive result: a more welcoming, healthy, safer community where individuals and families enjoy favorite hobbies and time together.  Through the Iowa Partnerships for Success Grant the SAFE Coalition is encouraging local city councils to consider implementing these types of policies for public places in Van Buren County. 

Preventative restrictions can range from limiting the time or location of alcohol use, rules for use or bans on alcohol consumption. For example, some communities may establish a distance between alcohol use and playground equipment, or require a city permit to have alcohol at a gathering.  If we, as a community, start putting these restrictions in place, we stand against irresponsible alcohol use, saying, “It is not OK to provide alcohol to a minor and there is no such thing as a ‘safe place’ for underage drinking.”

In order to bring about community change, we must decide what our community represents. Who do we want to attract to the area?  What do we want our children or grandchildren growing up around?  What are the benefits and drawbacks of allowing alcohol use in public spaces versus restricting the use?

Help your community make these decisions and change local thinking about alcohol. When you are at community events and public areas, say something to law enforcement if you see someone providing alcohol to minors.

To learn more about underage drinking and the current efforts to reduce it, check out the coalition website at www.vbsafecoalition.com. If you have any questions regarding the Iowa Partnership for Success Grant, the strategies being implemented in Van Buren County or would like to volunteer your time, please feel free to contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or info@vbsafecoalition.com

These efforts are funded by the Iowa Partnerships for Success Grant, provided by the Iowa Department of Public Health through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Margaritas and Driving Don’t Mix on Cinco de Mayo Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving

Cinco de Mayo has become a deadly holiday due to drunk driving. In fact, 40 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes across the nation during the Cinco de Mayo holiday period in 2015.

That’s why the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office and the SAFE Coalition are teaming up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to reach all drivers with an important life-saving message and warning: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

“Leading up to May 5th, we want remind everyone around Van Buren County that alcohol and driving do not mix,” said Sheriff Tedrow. “Planning a sober ride home before the party begins is key to staying safe on Cinco de Mayo. Designate your sober driver in advance, and never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking. Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.”

From 2011-2015, 270 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes during the Cinco de Mayo holiday period.

A safe, sober ride home is an essential part of any plan that includes drinking. If you plan to celebrate this Cinco de Mayo, follow these steps to stay safe:
     Before celebrating, decide whether you’ll drink or you’ll drive. You can’t do both.
     If you’re planning on driving, commit to staying sober. 


     If you have been drinking, call a sober friend or family member. Also, try NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, which helps users call a friend for a ride home and identify their location so they can be picked up.
     Help those around you be responsible, too. Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as lack of attention could put you at risk of getting hit by a vehicle. If someone you know is drinking, do not let them get behind the wheel; help them find a sober ride home.
     If you see someone who appears to be driving drunk, call the police. Your actions could help save a life.

Drunk driving causes tragedies all year round. According to NHTSA, 35,092 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2015, and 10,265, or 29 percent, of those fatalities occurred in drunk-driving-related crashes.

Plan your sober ride home before the party begins this Cinco de Mayo.
Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.


For more information, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov or contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or info@vbsafecoalition.com.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Rx Take Back Day - April 29, 2017


Alcohol and Kids

By Patricia S. Erickson – Public Action Management

April was alcohol awareness month and it's a good time to look at how we, as adults, are interacting with alcohol around young people.  Drinking rates among youth are the lowest they've been in years which is reason to celebrate. In 2016 the Monitoring the Future Survey found that 7% of 8th graders, 20% of 10th graders and 33% of 12th graders had consumed alcohol in the past 30 days; down from 1991 rates of 25%, 43% and 54% respectively.  While kids are drinking less, we're learning more about the potential harm that alcohol poses to the not-inconsequential number that do drink.

As medical technology advances, we're learning more about the impact of alcohol on the adolescent brain. The human brain develops from the back to front, with the prefrontal cortex being among the last areas to become fully developed in the mid-20’s. This area is the center of judgment and impulse control, and adding alcohol to the mix can impede development. The memory center of the brain, the hippocampus, has been found to be smaller in teens that drink a lot. In her studies of the adolescent brain, Susan Tapert of the University of California San Diego has found that just 12 drinks a month--two or three binges--can result in diminished memory and thinking skills in teens.

In an effort to keep kids from drinking irresponsibly as adults, some parents look to the "European model" of allowing young children to drink at home where they are supervised, so that they won't drink so much in other places. But the data says this tends to backfire. Kids whose parents allow drinking at home tend to drink more overall, and they find ways to get alcohol outside of the home.  Australian researchers surveyed parents and children over the course of four years and found that children who were allowed to drink at home at 13 or 14 were three times more likely to be drinking more at age 16 than their peers who were not served alcohol at home.

It may be more effective for parents to model moderation practices when it comes to alcohol. Home consumption and hosting can be opportunities to show children how adults can drink and be safe. Part of the effort could involve maintaining open lines of communication so kids know that some activities are for adults only and why that is the case. Parents should realize that if they rely heavily on alcohol to cope with the stress of parenting, this is a lesson that is being passed on, too.

Keeping the lines of communication open, making time to talk, and researching credible sources when you don't know the answers are all steps in the right direction. There are many good resources for talking to kids of different ages including Partnership for Drug-Free Kids (drugfree.org), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (https://www.samhsa.gov/underage-drinking), and Mothers Against Drunk Driving's Power of Parents (http://www.madd.org/underage-drinking/the-power-of-parents/).  These sources also have tools for helping kids develop refusal skills around alcohol and other unsafe activities.  It's also important for kids to know about whether Medical Amnesty laws apply where they live. Such a law would apply in a situation where someone is passed out possibly due to alcohol poisoning. If an underage person needs medical assistance, Medical Amnesty means that the person calling for help will not get in trouble. There is great potential for these kinds of laws to save lives.  These conversations may be uncomfortable, but if they don't learn about alcohol from caring adults, they may get inaccurate information from someone else.

It's developmentally appropriate, even essential, for teens to take risks to help them find their way in the world. Adults need to encourage healthy risk taking--the kind of behaviors that challenge and build skills and resilience, but don't put them at risk for great physical harm. 

Even if you don't have teenagers or young children at home, we can all do something to discourage underage drinking. If you shop somewhere that aggressively sells cheap alcohol, fill out a comment card or talk to the manager and ask them to consider changing their sales practices.  Tough ID laws and good training for servers and sellers can be impediments for kids to get their hands on booze.  Supporting opportunities in your community for kids to get involved in sports, arts and other activities that don't revolve around drinking can go a long way to making sure that the investment in schools--and the kids that attend them, are not lost.  Also enforcing alcohol laws that keep the alcohol industry regulated is a basic but often overlooked need for keeping trends moving in the right direction. Only responsible regulated industry members should be involved in the alcohol business.

For more information on talking to your children about alcohol please contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or info@vbsafecoalition.com or checkout the website at www.vbsafecoalition.com 

Sources:
www.monitoringthefuture.org
https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh284/205-212.htm   
drugfree.org
https://ndarc.med.unsw.edu.au/news/parents-may-be-putting-their-children-path-drinking
ncadd.org/family-friends/there-is-help/talking-with-children
http://www.medicalamnesty.org/

madd.org

Adventureland Tickets

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition has discounted tickets for Adventureland.  The cost per ticket is $22 (a savings of $20 off the regular ticket price).  The tickets are only good for the Substance Free Weekends at Adventureland on April 29th and April 30th, or May 6th and May 7th, 2017.  These special days are held at Adventureland to increase awareness of Drug Prevention Programs and provide a day of fun as a reward for those that participate in those programs.    

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 on any of these dates please contact the SAFE Coalition by phone at 319-293-6412 or by email at info@vbsafecoalition.com.  Tickets are available now.  The Substance Free event is a great way to spend a fun filled day with family and friends.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition Supports After Prom Parties

Van Buren/Harmony After Prom
April 22nd
12:00 A.M. – 5:00 A.M.
Harmony Elementary School

Activities to include:
Hypnotist, Jousting, Obstacle Course, Mechanical Bull,
Caricature Drawings, and much more!

Free T-shirts! 
RSVP Required for a t-shirt

Food and drinks provided:
Ice Cream Sundae Bar, Cotton Candy, Pizza,
Subs, Breakfast, and more!

Prizes will include:
TV’s, Fitbit, Beats Headphones, Laptop, and much more!
Prizes will be drawn before breakfast!

For more info contact:
Mindy Smith – 319-470-3229 or mindy.smith@van-burencsd.org
Angie Heiserman – 641-919-1605 or heiserman4@hotmail.com

VAN BUREN COUNTY SHERIFF’S RESERVE OFFICERS TAKING BACK UNWANTED PRESCRIPTION DRUGS APRIL 29 2017, AT VBCH COMMUNITY SERVICES CENTER

On Saturday, April 29, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Reserve Officers and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 13th opportunity in 7 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 VBCH Community Services Center (Upper Level of the Hospital’s Daycare) at 308 Mulberry Street, Keosauqua, IA 52565 (Entrance to the Van Buren County Hospital’s Emergency Room – Building on the Left).  The DEA cannot accept liquids, inhalers, needles or sharps, only pills or patches.  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last October, Americans turned in 366 tons (over 730,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners.  Overall, in its 12 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 7.1 million pounds—more than 3,500 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.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 29 Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion website or Contact the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or info@vbsafecoalition.com.

Adventureland Tickets

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition has discounted tickets for Adventureland.  The cost per ticket is $22 (a savings of $20 off the regular ticket price).  The tickets are only good for the Substance Free Weekends at Adventureland on April 29th and April 30th, or May 6th and May 7th, 2017.  These special days are held at Adventureland to increase awareness of Drug Prevention Programs and provide a day of fun as a reward for those that participate in those programs.    

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 on any of these dates please contact the SAFE Coalition by phone at 319-293-6412 or by email at info@vbsafecoalition.com.  Tickets are available now.  The Substance Free event is a great way to spend a fun filled day with family and friends.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Prom—Parents, have you talked to your teen about alcohol yet?

You as a parent may be able to prevent your child from becoming the next statistic by setting a few simple rules about underage drinking.  Before sending your teens off to prom, talk to them about alcohol—it just may save their life. 

Here are some tips on how to prepare your teen for these events: 
·         Make sure your child has a plan for the evening and that you know it.
·         Set rules with your child and stick to them.
·         Let the consequences be known and stick to them.
·         DO NOT HOST A PARTY FOR MINORS—underage drinking is illegal.  You as a parent are liable, and could face legal consequences.  Allowing a party with alcohol on your property, even if you do not provide the alcohol is now illegal per the Iowa State Social Host Law. 
·         Take stock of the alcohol in your house.
·         Discuss the school’s rules with your child and the consequences for violating them.
·         Disapprove of underage drinking.
·         Do NOT rent hotel rooms for prom-goers.
·         Communicate with other parents and school officials about the on-goings of the night so you are informed. 
·         Stay up for the prom-goer’s return home.
·         Encourage your teen to attend the schools post-prom party

Van Buren/Harmony After Prom
April 22nd
12:00 A.M. – 5:00 A.M.
Harmony Elementary School
Activities to include: Hypnotist, Jousting, Obstacle Course, Mechanical Bull, Caricature Drawings, & more!
Food and drinks provided: Ice Cream Sundae Bar, Cotton Candy, Pizza, Subs, Breakfast, and more!
Prizes will include: TV’s, Fitbit, Beats Headphones, Laptop, and much more!
Prizes will be drawn before breakfast!


For more information on talking to your children about alcohol, feel free to visit the SAFE Coalition website at www.vbsafecoalition.com or call 319-293-6412.

Adventureland Tickets

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition has discounted tickets for Adventureland.  The cost per ticket is $22 (a savings of $20 off the regular ticket price).  The tickets are only good for the Substance Free Weekends at Adventureland on April 29th and April 30th, or May 6th and May 7th, 2017.  These special days are held at Adventureland to increase awareness of Drug Prevention Programs and provide a day of fun as a reward for those that participate in those programs.    


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 on any of these dates please contact the SAFE Coalition by phone at 319-293-6412 or by email at info@vbsafecoalition.com.  Tickets are available now.  The Substance Free event is a great way to spend a fun filled day with family and friends.  

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Warriors Ignite Members Spring Activities

The Warriors Ignite members at both Van Buren Middle School and High School have been very busy this spring.  The middle school students started off by having a “Backpack Awareness Week”.  During the week members hung posters about the dangers of backpacks being too heavy and held a backpack weigh-in where students put their backpacks on the scale to see if they were in the too heavy or just right range.  More than 95% of the backpacks were in the too heavy range!  The youth plan to continue to help their peers understand the importance of carrying backpacks that are not too heavy. 

March 15th was National Kick Butts Day!  This is a day to empower student advocates to lead the efforts to stop youth tobacco use.  The Warrior Ignite members planned several activities around Kick Butts Day throughout the month of March.  The high school members created a “Crime Scene”  outside of the high school/middle school building. The crime scene had body outlines and tobacco facts.  One high school group presented tobacco facts and activities to the Harmony 6th grade class.  Two of the middle school groups presented tobacco facts and activities to the Van Buren 5th & 6th grade classes. 

Still to come this spring members are planning a cigarette butt clean up on main street in Keosauqua, a 5k Color Run/Walk with a Health Fair on May 31st at the Roberts Memorial Center and Fairgrounds, Cups in the fence at a track meet and a few other activities.  Please keep an eye open for the work our youth are doing to make Van Buren County a great place to live. 

For more information on the Van Buren County Warriors Ignite youth coalition please contact Melissa Daugherty at 319-293-8727 or melissa.daugherty@vbch.org.  You can also learn more by going onto the SAFE Coalition's website www.vbsafecaolition.com

Crime Scene: Rose Rankin and Sydney Goemaat

Peer Teaching at Van Buren Community Elementary School 5th Grade Classes:
Hailey Brown, Christina Leppert and Kylie Peck

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Connecting the Dots: Opportunities for Recovery

Alcohol and drug use by young people is extremely dangerous--both to themselves and to society--and is directly associated with traffic fatalities, violence, suicide, educational failure, alcohol overdose, unsafe sex and other problem behaviors, even for those who may never develop a dependence or addiction. Adolescence is a time of heightened risk-taking and as alcohol and drugs enter the picture, parents are faced with a unique set of challenges. They can simply sit back and hope their kids will “get through it,” or they can take an active role in learning about alcohol and drugs and helping their kids do the same.

It can be daunting to talk with children about drinking and drug use, but it is well worth the effort parents put into it. In fact, research has shown that kids who have conversations with their parents and learn a lot about the dangers of alcohol and drug use are 50% less likely to use these substances than those who don’t have such conversations. 

“Alcohol and drug use is a very risky business for young people,” says Andrew Pucher, President and CEO of NCADD, “and parents can make a difference. The longer children delay drinking and drug use, the less likely they are to develop any problems associated with it. That’s why it is so important to help your child connect the dots and make smart decisions about alcohol and drugs.”

An integral part of Alcohol Awareness Month is Alcohol-Free Weekend, March 31-April 2, 2017, which is designed to raise public awareness about the use of alcohol and how it may be affecting individuals, families, and the community. During this seventy-two-hour period, NCADD extends an open invitation to all Americans, young and old, to participate in three alcohol-free days and to use this time to contact local NCADD Affiliates and other alcoholism agencies to learn more about alcoholism and its early symptoms.

Each April since 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) has sponsored Alcohol Awareness Month to increase public awareness and understanding, reduce stigma and encourage local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues.  The month of April will be filled with local, state, and national events aimed at educating people about the treatment and prevention of alcoholism, particularly among our youth, and the important role that parents can play in giving kids a better understanding of the impact that alcohol can have on their lives.

For more information on Alcohol Awareness Month or how to talk with your children about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs please contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or info@vbsafecoalition.com

Resource: https://www.ncadd.org/aam

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Kids think about what you lose when you drink underage!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

This St. Patrick’s Day, Plan before You Party! Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving

St. Patrick’s Day has become one of the nation’s biggest times to celebrate and party. But unfortunately, too many people are taking to the roads after drinking alcohol making the holiday one of our most dangerous. In fact, 30 people were killed in drunk driving crashes across the nation during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18) in 2015.

That’s why the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition is teaming up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to reach all drivers with an important life-saving message and warning: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

According to NHTSA, 252 people lost their lives in drunk driving-related crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period from 2011-2015. More than a fourth of them were killed in drunk driving crashes that occurred in the early morning, post-party hours (midnight to 5:59 a.m.).  

These needless deaths could have been prevented. Planning a sober ride home before the party begins is the first step in staying safe on St. Patrick’s Day. Don’t wait until you’ve already been drinking to make your transportation decision. Designate your sober driver in advance, and never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking. Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

If you plan to celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day, follow these tips to stay safe:
       Before celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year, decide whether you’ll drink or you’ll drive. You can’t do both.
       If you’re planning on driving, commit to staying sober. If you’ve been out drinking and then get behind the wheel, you run the risk of causing a crash or getting arrested for a DUI.
       If you have been drinking, call a sober friend or family member.  Also, try NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, which helps users call a friend for a ride home and identify their location so they can be picked up.
       Help those around you be responsible, too. Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as lack of attention could put you at risk of getting hit by a vehicle. If someone you know is drinking, do not let them get behind the wheel and help them find a sober ride home.
       If you see someone who appears to be driving drunk, call the police. Your actions could help save a life.

Impaired driving causes tragedies all year round. According to NHTSA, 35,092 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2015, and 10,265 (29%) of those fatalities occurred in drunk-driving-related crashes.

Remember this St. Patrick’s Day: Plan before You Party! Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

For more information, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.

Friday, March 3, 2017

March 15th is National Kick Butts Day

By Sydney Goemaat and Rose Rankin


More than 480,000 people in the United States will die this year from a tobacco-related disease. During the month of March the Van Buren County Warriors Ignite youth coalition members are taking a stand to stop youth from getting hooked on deadly tobacco products.

Unfortunately, 90% of smokers start using tobacco regularly by the time they are 18, and we know from the December 2016 Surgeon General’s Report that three million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in 2015.

In order to give kids a fighting chance, the Warriors Ignite Members plan to join thousands of students across the country who are taking part in Kick Butts Day, a nationwide initiative that empowers student advocates to lead the effort to stop youth tobacco use. As part of the Kick Butts Day celebration, Warriors Ignite Members will be doing several activities, as follows:
·         High School members will be doing a Crime Scene on March 9th that will be setup at the Van Buren Community Jr. /Sr. High School during the lunch hours for the 7th-12th grade students. The Crime Scene will include facts about smoking tobacco and how people have died from the harmful effects of tobacco.  
·         Middle School members on March 9th will be doing a Scavenger Hunt outside with their peers.  During the Scavenger Hunt students will learn about the dangers of smoking and tobacco awareness. 
·         Middle and High School members will be spreading the word about the dangers of smoking and tobacco awareness on March 22nd and 23rd while peer teaching at the elementary school to the 5th and 6th grade students.
·         Middle School members will be placing messages with cups in the fence during a home track meet at the Middle/High School.  These messages will share tobacco facts and encourage community members to be tobacco free. 
·         Middle School members will be making buttons to share with their peers to encourage them to remain tobacco free.

There are many effective ways state and local officials can protect young people from tobacco. They can fund tobacco prevention programs; increase tobacco taxes; and pass smoke-free laws to protect us from secondhand smoke. Consider these facts: Each day, more than 400 kids become new regular smokers; roughly one-third of them will die prematurely from a tobacco-related disease.

Today’s youth are not just part of the problem; they’re part of the solution. And the students from Van Buren County want tobacco companies to know that on Kick Butts Day and every day throughout the year, we’re going to fight them every step of the way!


For more information on the Van Buren County Warriors Ignite youth coalition or Kick Butts Day please contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or at info@vbsafecoalition.com.