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.