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MN has 5th-highest level of binge drinking in US

April 24, 2015 by Kandiyohi County Drug Free Communities Coalition No Comments »



MN has 5th-highest level of binge drinking in US – which county is highest?

  • April 24, 2015
  • By Adam Uren

Minnesota has the fifth-highest rate of binge drinking in the United States, a study has found, with North Dakota and Wisconsin home to the nation’s biggest drinkers.

A study of alcohol use in adults above the age of 21 was published this week in the American Journal of Public Health, showing binge and heavy drinking is rising across the country – led by an increase among women.

The data breaks it down state-by-state, county-by-county, and found that Menominee County in Wisconsin has the highest levels of binge drinking in the United States, with 36 percent of residents admitting to bingeing in 2012.

Bingeing is classed as a woman drinking four and a man five alcoholic drinks on a single occasion at least once in the past month. The study tracked drinking levels between 2002 and 2012, and found that bingeing rose by 8.9 percent nationally since 2005.

Which county in Minnesota has the most binge drinkers?

Binge drinking USA
The highest level of binge drinkers in Minnesota are found in Morrison County, between St. Cloud and Brainerd, which has its administrative center in Little Falls. (In the map above, the darker the red, the more prevalent binge drinking is).

The study found that 30.6 percent of residents admitted to binge drinking, with the number of male binge drinkers rising by 10 percent between 2002 and 2012, and 22.5 percent among women, the St. Cloud Times notes.

Morrison County is followed in binge drinking rates by Wilkin County, on the North Dakotan border (29.1 percent), Red Lake County and Marshall County in northwest Minnesota (28.3 and 28.2 percent respectively) and Winona County in southeast Minnesota (27.3 percent).

The lowest levels of binge drinking are in Kandiyohi County, west-central Minnesota (19.7 percent), and the southwest counties of Pipestone (19.9 percent) and Nobles (20.2 percent).

Minnesota’s binge drinking problem

Drinking levels USA Minnesota

The new American Journal of Public Health study found that Minnesota has a higher-than-average amount of alcohol users, with 66.6 percent of the population having had a drink in the previous month, above the national average of 56 percent. (In the map above, the darker the red, the more prevalent any drinking is).

And it has a higher binge drinking rate as well, with 23.6 percent of residents admitting to binge drinking in the previous month in 2012, higher than the national average of 18.3 percent (see graph at below).

Binge drinking

Some 30.2 percent of men in Minnesota admit to binge drinking, while 17.3 percent of women admit the same – the fourth-highest level nationally.

But Minnesota is significantly lower when it comes to heavy and binge drinking compared to North Dakota and Wisconsin, which are first and second with rates of 26.2 and 26.1 percent respectively.

Minnesota’s issues with binge drinking are well known, with a study by the Centers for Disease Control finding that the state has one of the highest levels of alcohol poisoning deaths in the country, and the rise in drinking has caused the state to fall down the rankings of the healthiest places in America.



Prom Prevention Messages w/ Coat & Tie

by Kandiyohi County Drug Free Communities Coalition No Comments »

This year, Coat & Tie who operates out of the Kandi Mall in Willmar, again partnered with us to provide prevention messages to the prom-goers who have rented from them.  A huge thank you to Duane, owner of Coat & Tie for working with us again.  Here is Duane inserting a prom insert into a tuxedo rental.

Duane, who owns Coat & Tie inserts a prom insert into a tux



Here is a close up of the prom insert in the tux pocket!

Prom insert


and a color picture of the prom insert:

Prom - Get Dressed Up, Not Messed Up


Get Dresses up – Not messed up.  A Drug and Alcohol Free Prom…A Memory you can live with!





Study Finds Teens Who Use Marijuana Heavily Have Poor Memories and Brain Abnormalities

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

Study Finds Teens Who Use Marijuana Heavily Have Poor Memories and Brain Abnormalities

A new study by Chicago’s Northwestern University found that teens who use marijuana heavily grow up to have poor memories and also have brain abnormalities, suggesting there could be long-term effects of heavy marijuana use.

Researchers evaluated 97 volunteers with and without some sort of a mental illness. The people surveyed said they’d used marijuana daily starting at age 16 or 17, and said they had not used other drugs.

The daily marijuana users had an abnormally shaped hippocampus, the part of the brain used in storing long-term memory, and performed about 18 percent more poorly on long-term memory tasks, the researchers reported. Previous research by the Northwestern team showed heavy pot smokers had poor short-term and working memory and abnormally shaped brain structures including the striatum, globus pallidus and thalamus.

The brain abnormalities and memory problems were observed during the individuals’ early twenties, two years after they stopped smoking marijuana. Young adults who abused cannabis as teens performed about 18 percent worse on long-term memory tests than young adults who never abused cannabis.

“The memory processes that appear to be affected by cannabis are ones that we use every day to solve common problems and to sustain our relationships with friends and family,” said senior author Dr. John Csernansky in a news release.

The study is among the first to say the hippocampus is shaped differently in heavy marijuana smokers and the different looking shape is directly related to poor long-term memory performance. Previous studies of cannabis users have shown either the oddly shaped hippocampus or poor long-term memory but none have linked them.

“Both our recent studies link the chronic use of marijuana during adolescence to these differences in the shape of brain regions that are critical to memory and that appear to last for at least a few years after people stop using it,” added lead study author Matthew Smith, also in a news release.

The longer the individuals were chronically using marijuana, the more abnormal the shape of their hippocampus, the study reports. The findings suggest that these regions related to memory may be more susceptible to the effects of the drug the longer the abuse occurs. The abnormal shape likely reflects damage to the hippocampus and could include the structure’s neurons, axons or their supportive environments, researchers concluded.

Participants took a narrative memory test in which they listened to a series of stories for about one minute, then were asked to recall as much content as possible 20 to 30 minutes later. The test assessed their ability to encode, store, and recall details from the stories.
The study also found that young adults with schizophrenia who abused cannabis as teens performed about 26 percent more poorly on the memory tests than young adults with schizophrenia who never abused cannabis.

In the U.S., marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug, and young adults have the highest — and growing — prevalence of use.

The study, titled “Cannabis-related episodic memory deficits and hippocampal morphological differences in healthy individuals and schizophrenia subjects,” was published in the journal Hippocampus.


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.



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



Happy New Year!!!!

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