Student HERO Coalition Presents
GAME TIME December 14 | 3:00-5:00 pm
Waconia Middle School | Room #J209
Student HERO Coalition Presents
GAME TIME December 14 | 3:00-5:00 pm
Waconia Middle School | Room #J209
Carver County will take your unwanted medications and drugs and safely dispose of them.
The Carver County Sheriff’s Office has 3 permanent sites with Take Back boxes to accept unused or expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs—just drop your unused/unwanted medications into disposal box opening.
Take Back boxes are permanently secured in the lobbies of these drop off sites:
• Waconia City Hall 201 South Vine Street,
• Chanhassen North Entrance of City Hall, 7700 Market Boulevard
• Carver County Sheriff’s Office offers a 24-hour access disposal box 606 E 4th St, Chaska, MN
It’s easy and you could save a life.
Leave medication in the original container.
Leave the name of the medication.
Remove your name and other identifying information.
Drop medication into the disposal box opening.
Prescription medicines, including controlled substances
Vitamins and supplements
No needles, sharps or syringes
No medicines from businesses, including healthcare facilities, pharmacies, pharmaceutical representatives, doctor’s offices and veterinary clinics
Over the past several years, states that have legalized marijuana have suffered from a wide array of unintended consequences. States with legal marijuana continue to see a thriving black market, increases in youth drug use, a rise in fatal drugged driving crashes, and more.
As special interest groups march forward in their push to put profits ahead of health, the evidence regarding the harm caused by legalization continues to mount. Just this week, three new key pieces of information have emerged that should give politicians and regulators pause as they consider how to move forward.
First, a key study published in the Journal of Primary Prevention examined the association between medical marijuana patients and licensed growers in Oregon. According to the study, increases in youth marijuana use are associated with the proliferation of medical marijuana dispensaries in the state:
“Results of multi-level analyses indicated significant positive associations between rates of marijuana patients and growers per 1000 population and the prevalence of past 30-day marijuana use, controlling for youth demographic characteristics. The marijuana patient and grower rates were also inversely associated with parental disapproval of marijuana use, which decreased from 2006 to 2015 and acted as a mediator. These findings suggest that a greater number of registered marijuana patients and growers per 1000 population in Oregon counties was associated with a higher prevalence of marijuana use among youth from 2006 to 2015, and that this relationship was partially attributable to perceived norms favorable towards marijuana use.”
Second, in a sign that does not bode well for the marijuana industry, an NIH-funded study out of Denver found that legal pot shops are linked to higher rates of property crime in surrounding areas. The study found that the density of marijuana businesses was positively related to property crime in nearby areas, as well as marijuana-specific crime. According to the lead author of the study Bridget Freisthler:
“Over time, as marijuana grows in popularity, densities of marijuana outlets may increase, resulting in higher crime…There are definitely negative public health consequences [of legalization], including increased crime.” Read full article at learningaboutsam.org
Today, the Minnesota Department of Health reissued its nicotine health advisory to inform parents and health care providers about the health dangers of nicotine for children, teens, and pregnant women.
While combustible tobacco use declines, the use of nicotine-containing products like e-cigarettes continues to surge among youth. The 2016 Minnesota Student Survey found that e-cigarette use among 11 graders is now more than double the use of cigarettes with 17 percent of students using them in the past 30 days.
“After reaching historic lows in youth cigarette use, it is troubling to note a resurgence of youth nicotine use under a new guise – electronic cigarettes,” said Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger. “It’s imperative parents and the health care community are aware of the dangers that nicotine poses to adolescent health; it’s more harmful than many people think.”
The Health Advisory is based on a summary of the latest research on the health risks of nicotine, and reflect findings from the U.S. Surgeon General’s new report E-cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults. The advisory reports that nicotine exposure can harm brain development during adolescence and poses a serious health risk for youth.
The teen years are a critical window for brain growth and development. As a result, adolescents are especially at risk from the harms caused by nicotine exposure. Ongoing use of nicotine can harm brain development during adolescence, a critical time when the brain is still “under construction.” Animal research has found that even in small doses, nicotine exposure in adolescence causes long-lasting changes in brain development. This could have negative implications in young people for learning, memory, attention. Nicotine in e-cigarettes and other tobacco products can also prime the adolescent brain for addiction to not only tobacco, but also substances like illicit drugs.
In addition, a growing body of evidence indicates that young people who have never smoked conventional cigarettes, but currently use e-cigarettes, are more likely to smoke conventional cigarettes in the future than are young people who do not use e-cigarettes.
“Given the rapid rise in use and growing popularity of e-cigarettes among youth, we are taking steps to inform the public about the health risks of nicotine. It’s not harmless for our teens – many of our kids using e-cigarettes today could end up being tomorrow’s smokers”
E-cigarette are available in thousands of flavors and are widely available now in Minnesota stores. A recent report by CDC found that nearly all of e-cigarette products found in retail settings contain nicotine.
The Advisory also cautions pregnant woman from using nicotine. The U.S. Surgeon General has concluded that use of products containing nicotine poses danger to pregnant women and unborn children. Fetal exposure to nicotine can have a variety of negative long-term consequences including sudden infant death syndrome, impaired brain and lung development, auditory processing problems, effects on behaviors and obesity, and deficits in attention and cognition
Communities across the state are taking steps to protect youth from the harms of nicotine. Over half of the state is now covered by comprehensive clean indoor air policies that also restrict e-cigarette use. Some localities have also restricted the sale of flavored tobacco to tobacco-only shops. Given the risks to adolescent brain development, some communities across the country are also taking steps to protect kids by increasing the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21.
The following Safe Celebrations Letter was sent to all Waconia High School Parents, May 2017
Congratulations to you and your family on reaching this milestone as your senior graduates from high school! It is our sincere hope that your graduation party will be a positive memory and experience for all. As you make plans to celebrate this once in a lifetime achievement, we offer some things for you to consider.
Remember that in Minnesota, alcohol use is illegal for anyone under 21 years of age. Because graduation parties are typically well attended and often held outside, we ask that you take steps to restrict access to alcohol and make extra efforts to monitor for possible under-age drinking.
It is also illegal for adults to intentionally supply alcohol to teens. Hefty fines and jail time are possible results for simply providing alcohol to anyone under the age of 21. If any minor becomes intoxicated and as a result, either causes or suffers great bodily harm or death, the adult(s) furnishing the alcohol may face felony prosecution. The Minnesota State Legislature has also passed laws that allow injured parties to sue PARENTS in civil court for providing alcohol to minors whose intoxication is a contributing factor in any resulting accidents, injuries, vandalism or other possible harm.
High school graduations are important celebrations in our community. Our goal is to help you experience a joyful event that keeps your teens safe and sober and leaves you with a lifetime of happy memories!
In Sincere Partnership,
Jim Olson, Sheriff, Carver County
Paul Falls Chief of Police, Minnetrista
Mark Fredericksen, Principal, Waconia H.S
Mark Sullivan, Chair, HERO coalition
Senate bill would raise statewide tobacco sales age to 21
“Proposal comes days after Edina became first Minn. city to make the move. The movement to require tobacco buyers in Minnesota to be 21 years old reached the State Capitol on Thursday. Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, introduced a bill that would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products statewide from 18 to 21.”
Star & Tribune Article (excerpt)
February 15, 2017
By Julie Anderson
Family physicians have a vital role, but a complex challenge takes a broad-based effort.
Like many family physicians, I have witnessed the opioid problem firsthand, seeing some who have inadvertently died, like Prince, from overdose. Deaths from opioids are increasing, and nearly 10 percent of patients who start opioids for something like a knee surgery remain on them six months later, often with worsened symptoms, psychological stress, less effective coping strategies and disability.
We family physicians have rightly been called to follow guidelines to curtail abuse, given that we see one-quarter of all office visits and prescribe one-quarter of all opioids. We must lead the effort to find a comprehensive solution — but everyone has a responsibility. Read Full Article
Waconia Patriot, Staff Reports
The Waconia HERO Coalition is tackling the issue of teen alcohol abuse head on.
On Thursday, Dec. 15, the coalition will host a forum aimed at fostering a conversation about social host ordinances. The meeting, slated for 6:30 p.m. at Waconia City Hall, is the coalition’s attempt to start an informed dialogue about the subject, according to HERO organizers.
The coalition’s move is spurred by data from the 2016 Minnesota Student Survey that shows underage drinking rates among Waconia students is higher than the state average. Among 11th grade boys, 29 percent of Waconia students reported using alcohol in the past 30 days. The state average among the same group was 24 percent, according to the survey. In response to a question about binge-drinking, 15 percent of 11th grade Waconia boys and 13 percent of 11th grade Waconia girls reported that they had participated in binge-drinking. Those figures are slightly higher than the state averages of 14 percent and 12 percent in the same peer groups, respectively. One area where Waconia students fell below the state average was general alcohol use among 11th grade girls – only 20 percent of Waconia students in that group reported using alcohol in the last 30 days while the state average stood at 25 percent. MORE
Student Voice—Red Ribbon Week
Red Ribbon Week is a nationally recognized campaign that brings awareness, advocates healthy and smart decisions, and educates today’s youth on the destruction drugs can have in your life. The Waconia High School SADD group celebrated Red Ribbon Week from October 24th to the 31st. During this time, we did many activities, such as inviting a speaker to the high school, tying red ribbons on cars, pledging, and supporting a local food drive, all to promote awareness about the effect substance abuse can have on your life.
Throughout the week, we provided our student body with the chance to pledge themselves to a lifestyle of smart decision making. Every lunch period of every week day, two of our club members ran a table in which we supplied markers, pre-cut red paper hands, and bracelets for those who participated. It was wonderful to see kids walk by and gladly write their name on a hand and promise themselves to never take part in a list of destructive decisions we printed out for them to remember and avoid. At the end of the week we proudly hung the handprints on a wall near the main entrance to the school so everyone could see the commitment their peers had made.
On the Monday of Red Ribbon Week, the members and officers of SADD went around the school parking lot and tied red ribbons onto teacher’s, staff, and student’s cars. As we were tying, we realized that many people still had ribbons on from previous years! By tying these ribbons, we gave everyone a reminder not to drink and drive. This physical reminder is helpful to many and we hope to continue doing this in the future!
On the Tuesday of Red Ribbon Week we had speakers from Know the Truth come and talk to us. Teachers were able to sign their class up to go to the auditorium and listen to the speakers. There were three speakers and they did a wonderful job. They talked about their lives and how they got into making bad decisions. It was such a brave thing, telling people about the terrible things they went through, but it was also really inspiring hearing about how they overcame it. The things they said were really eye opening. We were very thankful that they came to share their stories with us and hopefully their messages reached people within the audience, about the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol.
As the end to our Red Ribbon week, members of the SADD group volunteered to collect food for Mackenthuns Stuff a Truck. On Halloween, we split into groups and went to neighborhoods in Waconia. Overall, people were generous with their food donations. Almost everyone donated at least one or two cans of food. It felt great when a person would tell us that we were doing a great thing for our community. One aspect of SADD is to make our community a better place to live in. By collecting food, we are providing a better life for the people in our community. We didn’t have as many people show up to collect food as we would have liked. We still, however, collected several boxes of food that went to the Stuff a Truck. We hope that SADD can carry this tradition on and help better our community.
Another fun activity that SADD supervised this week was a door decorating contest. The doors were decorated to represent the ideas of Red Ribbon Week but also have a Halloween theme, “Say Boo to Drugs.” The winner was a door based off of the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas. All of the doors had a lot of work put into them and it was a great activity for the whole school to participate!
Red Ribbon Week is a week of awareness about the effects of drinking, drugs and other unsafe decisions. Throughout the week different SADD members helped to organize and run different activities. This week is always very fun because you get to see many different people, not just SADD members, get involved with our activities. It is a very good way to spread information to students about making safe decisions and staying away from drugs and alcohol. Red Ribbon Week is a great tradition that we plan on doing for years to come.
Consider attending the 42nd Annual Minnesota’s Prevention Program Sharing Conference.
“This is a high quality local conference which supports and informs anyone working with youth—especially around ATOD/underage substance abuse issues.” ~Maureen Farrell, M.Ed., DFC Grant Coordinator, Youth Development Specialist, Waconia Public Schools ISD 110.
If you are HERO Coalition board member the costs of this conference are fully covered. Not a member?
Consider joining—we need you!
Waconia High School is hosting an impaired and distracted driving education program and simulator for its students. The HERO Coalition has helped make this educational program possible. The Arrive Alive Tour® from UNITE will visit: Friday, April 29, 2016 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM.
The Arrive Alive Tour features a virtual reality impaired driving and texting simulator. One of the most commonly recognized driving distractions is cell phone use. The Arrive Alive tour puts people in a simulator that allows drivers to experience distracted driving first hand without any consequences.
UNITE’s Arrive Alive Tour uses an actual motor vehicle during the simulation. The vehicle does not move, but through the high tech glasses, the driver feels like it is real. After driving the driver receives a ticket showing the violations. Please go to Arrivealivetour.com and watch the Arrive Alive Promotional Video.
One of the most commonly recognized driving distractions is cell phone use. About 89 percent of all Americans have a cell phone, according to CTIA – The Wireless Association. Drivers under 20 years old have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Their lack of driving experience can contribute to critical misjudgments if they become distracted. Not surprisingly, they text more than any other age group, and the number of young drivers who text is only increasing.
Because of the time it takes to use the simulator, 30-35 senior class students per hour will be able to drive. Videos and speakers will be onsite to allow the audience to witness what the driver is experiencing. Pledge cards will be made for those students pledging not to drive and text or drive impaired.
The Arrive Alive Tour at Waconia High School was made possible, in part, under grant number SP020473 from the Office of National Drug Control Policy and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The views, opinions, and content of this program are those of the authors and contributors, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of ONDCP, SAMHSA, or HHS, and should not be construed as such.
Support a great student-led cause while you get in shape and have fun. Run or walk the Color Splash Fun Run! Race proceeds go to the Alexis Kretsch Scholarship Fund to be awarded to a Waconia High School senior.
When: April 2, 2016 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM CDT
Check-in; 8 a.m. fun run/walk.