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The Kandiyohi County Drug Free Communities (DFC) Coalition receives $50,000 from the Otto Bremer Foundation to continue the work of drug prevention.

February 11, 2015 by Kandiyohi County Drug Free Communities Coalition No Comments »

The Kandiyohi County Drug Free Communities (DFC) Coalition today announced that its drug prevention coalition received a $50,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation. The grant allows to the Kandiyohi County Drug Free Communities (DFC) Coalition to continue its work to reduce alcohol use by underage youth; reduce tobacco, e-cigarette, and nicotine use; intensify efforts on the newly emerging issue of e-cigarettes; and reduce marijuana use in the various forms (dabs, waxes, vaping, etc.).The coalition addresses a critical need for drug prevention as these are direct issues that drain our county’s resources. 

 

The Kandiyohi County Drug Free Communities (DFC) Coalition is a county-wide community coalition working to establish and strengthen community collaborations that support policies and community norms that serve to reduce youth substance use. Research has shown that for every dollar put into prevention, the community gets $7-$10 back in savings.  “Together, by investing in an effective community-based drug prevention strategy and supporting the adult and youth leaders that carry out this critical work we know that we can have an incredible impact on the lives of the people in our community. We truly believe that youth substance abuse is no one’s fault, but prevention is everyone’s responsibility and that belief drives our prevention efforts.  In the future, we envision a safe and healthy community free of substance abuse among our youth and families in Kandiyohi County.” said Laura Daak, Coalition Coordinator.

About the Otto Bremer Foundation

Created in 1944, the Otto Bremer Foundation assists people in achieving full economic, civic and social participation in and for the betterment of their communities. The Foundation strives to help build healthy, vibrant communities in the places that are homes and neighbors to Bremer banks—communities where basic needs are met, mutual regard is prized and opportunities for economic, civic and social participation are within everyone’s reach. The Otto Bremer Foundation owns 92 percent of Bremer Bank, and receives an equivalent share of the bank profits that are paid out as dividends. This means that a large portion of bank profit is invested back in local communities through grants and program-related investments.

 

Palcohol

February 6, 2015 by Kandiyohi County Drug Free Communities Coalition No Comments »

What is Palcohol and why should we care?

Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana, South Carolina and Vermont already have banned powdered alcohol, also known as “Palcohol.” Minnesota, Ohio, New York and Colorado also are considering bans, Lawmakers in a growing number of states are considering banning powdered alcohol, a product that thankfully has not yet arrived in stores.

 

Palcohol could increase underage drinking. It is marketed as an ounce of rum or vodka in powdered form, which is mixed with water, each serving is the equivalent of a shot of liquor. Powdered alcohol is dangerous for many reasons. First, is the immediate increase in accessibility. Youth cannot legally consume alcohol or possess it. However powdered form makes it substantially easier to hide it, transport it, sell it and use it with little or no adult awareness. Secondly, it could increase the chance of injury and death. One serving may provide one shot of alcohol but unlike liquid alcohol, a person could add 1,2, 3 or more “servings” of palcohol to their drink to magnify the intoxication effects. It could be inhaled, or added to food with or without a person knowledge.

 

Mark Phillips, who created Palcohol, says in a video on the product’s website that it would be sold only at liquor stores to people who are at least 21 years old. He also defends his products by stating that powdered alcohol is no different than liquid alcohol but rather saves the burden of having to carry the heavy liquid with it… (Even though one would still have to carry liquid to mix the powdered alcohol with). The company lists many reasons why powdered alcohol is needed: Outdoor activities, camping, hiking, traveling, airlines and yes even the snack industry. This promotes the message that you cannot have fun without alcohol or that the simple pleasures in life will be better by sprinkling alcohol on it. The company very seldom addresses abuse or underage consumption other than to state “it will only be sold to those over the age of 21″. That is the idea with liquid alcohol, but it doesn’t stop youth from obtaining it.

 

The benefits of powdered alcohol are very, very small and will only benefit a very small portion of society. Are we willing to allow harm to the many to benefit a few? Please contact your legislator today or for more information contact the Kandiyohi County  Drug Free Communities Coalition

 

American Academy of Pediatrics Says No to Marijuana Legalization

January 27, 2015 by Kandiyohi County Drug Free Communities Coalition No Comments »

The group representing the nation’s pediatricians issued a statement this week opposing the legalization of marijuana. The drug can be harmful to adolescent health and development, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

The group said it supports the compassionate use of marijuana for some children who suffer from debilitating or terminal illnesses, HealthDay reports. The AAP also supports decriminalizing marijuana, in conjunction with programs designed to prevent marijuana use and to provide early treatment for adolescents with marijuana use problems.

The AAP noted marijuana can cause memory and concentration problems that may lead to difficulties in school. Marijuana can impair motor control, coordination and judgment, leading to an increased risk of accidental injury and death, the group stated in a news release. Regular marijuana use is also associated with psychological problems, worse lung health, and an increased risk of drug dependence in adulthood, the AAP said.

The group expressed concern about legalization of marijuana and its effect on teens. “Making it more available to adults — even if restrictions are in place — will increase the access for teens,” said Dr. Seth Ammerman, a member of the AAP Committee on Substance Abuse and an author of the policy statement. “Just the campaigns to legalize marijuana can have the effect of persuading adolescents that marijuana is not dangerous, which can have a devastating impact on their lifelong health and development.”

The AAP said it opposes medical marijuana “outside of the usual process by the Food and Drug Administration to approve pharmaceutical products.” It noted there has been little research on medical marijuana for adults, and there have been no published studies on marijuana involving children. The group supports further study of marijuana for medical conditions.

 

E-Cigarette Vapor Can Contain High Concentrations of Formaldehyde: Study

January 23, 2015 by Kandiyohi County Drug Free Communities Coalition No Comments »

young woman smoking electronic cigarette outdoor office building

Vapor produced by e-cigarettes can contain formaldehyde at levels five to 15 times higher than regular cigarettes, a new study finds. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, NPR reports.

Researchers from Portland State University in Oregon found formaldehyde in e-cigarettes could increase the chance the toxin will get deposited in the lung. They reported their findings in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine.

“I think this is just one more piece of evidence amid a number of pieces of evidence that e-cigarettes are not absolutely safe,” said co-author David Peyton. “We simulated vaping by drawing the vapor — the aerosol — into a syringe, sort of simulating the lungs,” he explained. The researchers then conducted a detailed analysis of the vapor.

Long-term exposure to formaldehyde is recognized as contributing to lung cancer, Peyton noted. “And so we would like to minimize contact (to the extent one can) especially to delicate tissues like the lungs.”

Gregory Conley of the American Vaping Association told NPR the researchers found formaldehyde only at e-cigarettes’ highest voltage levels. “If you hold the button on an e-cigarette for 100 seconds, you could potentially produce 100 times more formaldehyde than you would ever get from a cigarette,” he said. “But no human vaper would ever vape at that condition, because within one second their lungs would be incredibly uncomfortable.”

Peyton argues many people use the high settings on e-cigarettes. “As I walk around town and look at people using these electronic cigarette devices it’s not difficult to tell what sort of setting they’re using,” he said. “You can see how much of the aerosol they’re blowing out. It’s not small amounts. It’s pretty clear to me that at least some of the users are using the high levels.”

 

New Device, “E-Joint,” Brings Together Marijuana and E-Cigarette

January 13, 2015 by Kandiyohi County Drug Free Communities Coalition No Comments »

A new device known as an “e-joint” brings together marijuana and an e-cigarette, The New York Times reports.

A brand of e-joint, JuJu Joint, holds 100 milligrams of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana—twice as much as a traditional joint, the article notes. It is disposable and comes filled with 150 hits. The device produces no smoke and has no smell.

JuJu Joints were introduced in April in Washington state, where recreational and medical marijuana is legal. So far, 75,000 devices have been sold. The maker of the device says 500,000 more will be sold this year. The company plans to expand to Colorado and Oregon, where recreational marijuana is legal. It also plans to bring the device to Nevada, which has decriminalized marjiuana.

“In some ways, e-joints are a perfect storm of a problematic delivery system, the e-cigarette, and in addition a problematic substance, cannabis oil,” said Dr. Petros Levounis, the chairman of the psychiatry department at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

JuJu Joints inventor and co-founder Rick Stevens said each inhalation is metered by the device. “Our goal is not to get people stoned so they sit in the corner and vegetate,” he said. Stevens noted, “I wanted to eliminate every hassle that has to do with smoking marijuana. I wanted it to be discreet and easy for people to handle. There’s no odor, matches or mess.”

The devices cost $65 to $100 each, one-quarter of which goes to Washington’s Liquor Control Board. At medical dispensaries, the devices cost a suggested donation of $25. While smoking marijuana in public is illegal, customers say they have used JuJu Joints while hiking, skiing and attending concerts.

JuJu Joints can only be purchased by adults 21 and older, but law enforcement agencies say they are concerned the devices are already being abused by teenagers.

 

Parent’s Can’t Stop What They Don’t Know – January 27th in St. Cloud Presentation

January 8, 2015 by Kandiyohi County Drug Free Communities Coalition No Comments »

This event is  is open to the public; parents, educators, officers, probation, judges, social workers, everyone.  $5 pre-registration/$10 at the door. January 27th St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center. Like Officer Jermaine Galloway on Facebook, his page is  “Tall Cop Says Stop”.  Feel free to disseminate to share this event.  For more info and to register, contact Tiffany Thompson:

 

c/o St. Cloud Police Department

Attn: Tiffany Thompson

101 11 Avenue North

St. Cloud, MN 56303

Phone: 320-345-4375

Fax: 320-345-4224

Email: Tiffany.Thompson@ci.stcloud.mn.us

 

Happy New Year!!!!

January 1, 2015 by Kandiyohi County Drug Free Communities Coalition No Comments »

 

United Way of Central MN awards KC DFC Coalition with a $1,000 Grant

December 22, 2014 by Kandiyohi County Drug Free Communities Coalition No Comments »

We are excited to announce that the Kandiyohi County Drug Free Communities Coalition was awarded a $1,000 grant to continue their work on the reducing drug use and abuse in Kandiyohi County Youth.   The grant will support the SWAT Teams in the New London Spicer High and Middle School.  The students will carry out four campaigns over the next few months which include: National Drug Facts Week, Big Bowl Vote, a presentation request to the Kandiyohi County Fair Board and educating their peers during Alcohol Awareness Month is April.   Thank you – United Way!

 

UCare awards DFC Coalition with a $25,000 Grant!

December 19, 2014 by Kandiyohi County Drug Free Communities Coalition No Comments »

We are excited to announce that the Kandiyohi County Drug Free Communities Coalition was awarded a $25,000 grant to continue their work on the reducing drug use and abuse in Kandiyohi County Youth.   The grant will support the SWAT Teams in Willmar Sr. High, Willmar Middle School and CMCS.  The students will carry out four campaigns over the next few months which include: National Drug Facts Week, Big Bowl Vote, a presentation request to the Kandiyohi County Fair Board and educating their peers during Alcohol Awareness Month is April.   Thank you – UCare!!!

 

Kandiyohi County Drug Free Communities (DFC) Coalition faces funding challenge after grant is not renewed

December 18, 2014 by Kandiyohi County Drug Free Communities Coalition No Comments »

Kandiyohi County Drug Free Communities (DFC) Coalition faces funding challenge after grant is not renewed

For the past five years, the Kandiyohi County Drug Free Communities Coalition, under the leadership of coordinator Laura Daak, has been working in three area school districts and Kandiyohi County to combat substance abuse and other risky behaviors among youth.  Now, despite significant success and progress in those areas, the Coalition’s future is in jeopardy.  In September, it learned that it would not be re-funded for the next five year grant cycle through the federal Drug-Free Community Grant Support Program (Office of National Drug Control Policy). The amount of the grant would have been $125,000 per year.  Daak said “Colleagues across the state and U.S. were shocked that the Coalition did not receive a second round of funding.”  Within the Drug Free Communities Grant Program, Coalitions can only receive ten years of funding total, after that, the communities in which they operate would be looked at to sustain the work. More than 500 applicants nationwide competed to get one of the 182 grants that were awarded.

Without the grant, the Coalition is looking to the community and other grant opportunities to sustain their prevention work.  “Our main objective right now is to look for, apply and receive community grants,” Daak said. At this point the Coalition has enough money to run through the end of June 2015.  Grant funding makes up the bulk of the Coalition’s annual budget. The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners’ gives an annual donation of $15,000 to assist the coalition with their mission and goals.

To replace lost funding, the KC DFC has sent out requests to local organizations, companies and foundations. Coalition staff and members also are researching and writing grants. So far the coalition has received a $1,000 grant from United Way and $25,000 from UCare. The Coalition plans to re-write the Drug-Free Community Support Grant in February and March 2015, with hopes of getting re-funded for years 6-10 in late September 2015.  Congress passed an omnibus appropriations bill this past week that funds almost all federal agencies for the coming fiscal year (FY) 2015. The bill includes a $1.5 million increase in funding over the FY 2014 level for the Drug-Free Communities program, which is also significantly higher than the President’s FY 2015 budget request.  There hasn’t been an increase in funding for the Drug Free Communities Program in over 10 years and in fact, over the last 10 years we have seen over a 40% reduction in funding for prevention.

If the Coalition is unable to raise sufficient funding, chances are that without staff, some of the work would be suspended.  Nevertheless, Daak remains hopeful. The Coalition has seen great support from its members and the communities where it works, she said. This Coalition has been around in since 1997 and has had several different names throughout the years.   “The grant process is long, but we feel positive that our good work has been and will be recognized in the end,” she declared. “We have grants submitted and requests out in the community. Meanwhile, we keep researching new opportunities and are exploring all avenues. We will need to raise additional dollars to keep our efforts sustainable.

For many years, the Coalition has been very involved in the New London-Spicer, Central Minnesota Community Christian and Willmar school districts, where it has sustained the SWAT (Students Working against Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs) Teams.  These Teams have been successful in the mission of lowering substance and alcohol abuse among youth. “Without substance abuse prevention efforts, we would most likely not see the continued reduction of underage drinking rates among our youth,” Daak commented.  The fact that the grant was not renewed does not reflect on the need for what the Coalition does or competency of the Coalition itself, she stated.  “We know we are an asset to all communities in Kandiyohi, and we know it takes the whole community working together to reduce substance use and abuse.”  Research states that for every dollar invested in prevention, we save $10 in community costs later on.

To make a donation and support the Kandiyohi County DFC Coalition, contact Coalition Coordinator Laura Daak at Kandiyohi County DFC Coalition, 2200 23rd ST NE, Suite 1080, Willmar MN 56201, email at Laura_D@co.kandiyohi.mn.us  or call (320) 231-7860 x 2533.