Thursday, October 26, 2017

Van Buren County IPFS Project Update

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition was awarded the Iowa Partnership for Success (IPFS) Grant in February 2015 to address underage drinking and underage binge drinking in Van Buren County.  The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition’s IPFS project is funded by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

During the 2016-17 Fiscal Year the coalition is continuing to build capacity and address the five strategies it was funded to work on as follows:  
1)     Alcohol Restrictions at Community Events at Privately Owned Facilities: The coalition has begun working with privately owned facilities to help them implement alcohol policies focused on the best practices for alcohol service at their location.  Four facilities have established a “No Alcohol Allowed” policy.  The coalition is working with two other facilities to develop written alcohol restriction policies and is in contact with three other facilities about whether or not they would like to develop policies for their facilities. 
2)     Alcohol Restrictions in Public Places: The coalition researched what alcohol restriction policies are being followed in each town and the county.  Coalition members visited with each city council in July to present them with information on policies they could use in their town that would address the availability of alcohol to youth in public places, such as public parks and community ball fields.  Coalition members will be visiting with the city councils in January to find out if they are interested in implementing alcohol restriction policies for their public places.  
3)     Substance Abuse Prevention Programs for Youth: The coalition is working with the Van Buren Community School District to implement the Life Skills Training Program in the 7th and 8th grades.  This program is a groundbreaking substance abuse and violence prevention program based on more than 30 years of rigorous scientific research. During the 2017-18 school year the 7th grade students will be completing Level I of the curriculum and the 8th grade students will be completing Level II as the curriculum builds upon itself.  The first group of 7th grade students began the class in September and will complete it on October 4th.  The next group of 7th grade students will begin the class on October 5th. 
4)     Underage Drinking Prevention Media Campaign: The coalition has worked with local media outlets to implement IDPH’s “What Do You Throw Away” underage drinking prevention media campaign.  It is currently displayed on the billboard in Keosauqua; posters in the Van Buren County Hospital & Clinics; posters and screensavers at local libraries; posters, electronic billboard ads, and computer backgrounds at the Van Buren Community Middle/High School; posters at the Lacey Keosauqua State Park; and posters in local convenience stores. 
5)     Social Host Ordinance: A Social Host Ordinance would address the problem of adults knowingly providing a place for an underage drinking party.  The coalition currently is working to educate community members and government officials on why this ordinance would be helpful in Van Buren County. 

For more information on the Van Buren County IPFS Project or to join the coalition and its work please contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or

Friday, October 20, 2017

Rx Take Back Day - October 28, 2017 - Van Buren County Sheriff's Office Lobby

On Halloween, and Every Day, Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving - The SAFE Coalition Reminds Halloween Partiers Against Drinking and Driving

This Halloween, the SAFE Coalition is reminding Halloween partiers that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. If your Halloween party involves alcohol then you have to make a plan to get home without getting behind the wheel.

If you want to stay safe this Halloween then make a plan to get home without driving if you’ve been drinking. Even one drink impairs judgement, so plan to get home with a designated a sober drive. Buzzed driving is drunk driving, so think ahead to stay safe.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 43 percent of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night (6 p.m. October 31st – 5:59 a.m. November 1st) from 2009 to 2013 were in crashes involving a drunk driver. On Halloween Night alone 119 people lost their lives over that same period. Children out trick-or-treating and the parents accompanying them are also at risk as 19 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes on Halloween night (2009-2013) involved drunk drivers.

It is illegal everywhere in America to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. In 2013, 10,076 people were killed in drunk driving crashes. Even if you drive drunk and aren’t killed or seriously injured you could end up paying as much as $10,000 for a DUI.

Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving, so follow these simple tips to stay safe:

·         Plan a safe way to get home before you attend the party. Alcohol impairs judgement, as well as reaction time. If you’re drunk you’re more like to choose to drive drunk.
·         Designate a sober driver or a call a sober friend or family member to get home. 
·         Walking while impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.
·         If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement when it is safe to do so.
·         If you see someone you think is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them get home safely.

For more information, please visit

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office taking back unwanted prescription drugs October 28, 2017 at the Sheriff’s Office

On Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its 14th 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 Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office at 907 Broad Street, Keosauqua, IA 52565.  The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles/sharps, or inhalers, only pills or patches.  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last April Americans turned in 450 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners.  Overall, in its 13 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 8.1 million pounds—more than 4,050 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 October 28th Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion website or contact the SAFE Coalition at or 319-293-3334 ext. 1017 or contact the Sheriff’s Office at             319-293-3426.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

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 time 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