Issue 22: Quarter 2 of 4
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Partnership for Change (PFC) is a local coalition of youth, parents, schools, law enforcement, and community groups that are working together to reduce drug use among youth and young adults in northwest Hennepin County. Learn more here.
Emergency Roundtable Discussion
After learning about the recent spike in overdoses in the Twin Cities that occurred, United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota Erica MacDonald invited first responders, public health professionals, treatments specialists and other community members to join a conversation about community responses to drug use and addiction with the Office of National Drug Control Policy Director James Carroll. We were among the community members at the table invited to this event to share our drug free community coalition prevention efforts.

Read more here. The Minnesota Department of Health issued a health advisory related to the increase in drug overdoses.
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) highlight our prevention work
On June 13th, CADCA featured an article with an overview of our coalition's work to implement population-based prevention strategies.

From the beginning, Partnership for Change has focused on implementing population-based strategies that would be sustainable beyond the duration of the drug free community grant. We employ data-driven, evidence-based strategies that have the largest population impact. Due to the large region that our coalition serves, changing the environment and modifying policies are more effective interventions

Read the article here.
New Medicine Disposal Box located at Crystal Police Department

On Monday, August 12th, Crystal Police Department opened their new medicine disposal box. The MedReturn receptacle can be found in the lobby of the police department (4141 Douglas Drive North). The box is open to the public during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 4:30 PM, and an officer can be called to open it past these regular business hours.
On Tuesday, August 27th, CCX Media Eric Nelson interviewed Deputy Chief Hubbard about this new community resource. Coalition members joined him to celebrate the opening of the box.

Thanks to Environmentalist Ryan Gastecki from Hennepin County Environment & Energy Department & Deputy Chief Brian Hubbard for working with our coalition to get the box set-up! For a complete list of the medicine disposal box locations in Hennepin County, visit our coalition's website.

From left to right: Tara Helm, Partnership for Change Coordinator; Camryn Krause Ferris, Partnership for Change Steering Committee Member, JCPP Community Liaison, Crystal Police Department; Deputy Chief Brian Hubbard, Crystal Police Department; Teresa Lunt, Partnership for Change Steering Committee Member and Past Coalition Chair
Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC) Tour with Environmentalist Ryan Gastecki

What happens to the medicine that is discarded in the shiny green boxes at the police departments? Coalition members toured the HERC facility located in downtown Minneapolis last week to find out! Law enforcement officers bring the discarded medicine to the HERC, it bypasses the waste pit where garbage is dropped off by garbage trucks, and it is taken to the level of the boiler systems.
The crane (see image on the right) picks up waste from the pit to cover the medicine and it is fed into the boilers. The waste is burned in boilers lined with water-filled tubes. In the image below, Angie Ziobro shows coalition members what it looks like inside the incinerator by viewing the process through a small window. The heat of combustion converts the water in the tubes to steam that turns a turbine to generate electricity. 
Click here to take a virtual tour of the HERC. 

Ryan Gastecki (above) explains how incinerating medicine is the preferred method of disposal, especially since we live in a county with about 50 permanent medicine disposal box locations! Disposing of unwanted medicines in disposal bags, such as Deterra prescription drug disposal kits, are intended to be discarded in the household trash and solid waste system, which is not benefiting our environment.  Additionally, if people do not follow the three-step process that prompts proper deactivation of the drugs, these products could be retrieved out of the trash, potentially leading to misuse or abuse of the discarded drugs. Using drug disposal bags is a costly way to discard unwanted medicines, a solution that should be used in regions without readily available medicine disposal boxes.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the recommended disposal method for pharmaceuticals is incineration because it addresses both environmental and diversion concerns for safe disposal of waste household medicines. Incineration meets the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)'s "non-retrievable" destruction standard and it should be the preferred disposal method in Hennepin County.
Learning from Law Enforcement:
Drug Trends and Prevention Efforts

On August 15th, Osseo Police Chief Shane Mikkelson presented at Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation during a Hot Topic Event. There were over 80 engaged attendees who learned about our prevention strategy, Place of Last Drink, to address over service of alcohol. Many attendees from throughout the metro area were unaware of this data collection method that is utilized by our law enforcement agencies.
What is Prevention?
CADCA partnered with Addiction Policy Forum to provide a valuable resource for our coalitions: the "What is Prevention" video series explains the nuts & bolts of evidence-based prevention and seeks to empower everyone to play a role- at home, at school, and throughout our communities. You can view the entire video series on the CADCA website.

What is Prevention?

The earlier a person starts using substances, the greater their chances of developing a substance use disorder; ninety percent of adults with a substance use disorder(SUD) started using alcohol or drugs before they turned 18.

Prevention efforts focus on delaying the age of first drug or alcohol use, or pushing it back as long as possible — whether alcohol, tobacco or marijuana — the most commonly used substances among teens.

The Adolescent Brain

The adolescent brain is undergoing an amazing phase of rapid development — learning and growing all of the time. This is why it’s easier for young people to learn an instrument or speak a new language than it is for adults, but it also makes the adolescent brain more vulnerable to injury— including the harmful effects of alcohol and drugs.  The brain continues to develop until a person reaches their early to mid-20s, with the regions of the brain that control emotions and impulses and help us make decisions among the last to develop. This is why adolescents are more likely to take risks and make impulsive decisions, such as trying drugs and alcohol in the first place. Protecting the brain during this period of development is crucial to a person’s overall health and dramatically reduces the risk of developing a substance use disorder later in life. 

Risk & Protective Factors

As with many other diseases, vulnerability to SUD differs from person-to-person, and no single factor determines whether someone will become addicted to alcohol or drugs. In general, the more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance that using substances will lead to a SUD. 

For every risk factor, there is a protective factor to counter-balance it. Prevention focuses on strengthening the protective factors that we can control to decrease the likelihood that a person or community will struggle with addiction. 

The risk factors associated with substance use disorder are referred to as the “big three” categories of factors in prevention:

  • Individual
  • Environmental
  • Genetic

Individual factors that put an adolescent at risk besides the age of first use include parental substance use, trauma, and a lack of social attachments.

Environmental factors include high drug availability, poverty, and exposure to violence.  

Genetic factors are related to a person’s familial history of SUD. Research suggests that genetic factors account for about half of a person’s likelihood of developing a SUD. While we can’t change our genetics, knowing about our family history can help empower us to make different decisions about our substance use.

FDA warns consumers that cannabidiol-related products are not approved by FDA for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of any disease

Over the past several years, the United States Food & Drug Administration has issued several warning letters to firms that market unapproved new drugs that allegedly contain cannabidiol (CBD). As part of these actions, FDA has tested the chemical content of cannabinoid compounds in some of the products, and many were found to not contain the levels of CBD they claimed to contain. It is important to note that these products are not approved by FDA for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease. Consumers should beware purchasing and using any such products. For more information, visit the FDA website here.

Photo from Google Images.
Ads Pitching CBD as a Cure-All Are Everywhere.
Oversight Hasn't Kept Up.
Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University tested products from companies selling CBD products that claim their products are "all natural" and promote their products as health aids. The results from the university lab discovered a synthetic compound, 5F-ADB, which is an ingredient that has been linked by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to cause anxiety, convulsions, psychosis, hospitalization and death. According to the researcher, people are taking these products in good faith and believe there is oversight in the quality, but that is not the case. Read the full article from the New York Times here 
Nearly 70% of online CBD marijuana extracts are mislabeled

In a study of 84 CBD products sold by 31 companies online, blind testing found that only about 31 percent of them contained the amount of CBD listed on the label (within +/- 10 percent). And some of the products contained other components of marijuana that were not listed on the label. Read the article here and the study here.
More than Half of People who Misuse Prescription Opioids also Binge Drink
More than half of the 4.2 million Americans who misused prescription opioids between 2012 and 2014 also engaged in binge drinking, according to a new study released in June by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. 

Read more here...
New Bill in Vermont Aims to Prevent Youth Access to E-Cigarettes
Vermont adopted a bill that imposes a 92% tax on e-cigarettes. Learn more about the epidemic and Vermont's initiative on CBS This Morning here

For more information about the nationwide effort, advocacy materials and other resources, visit
Misplaced Optimism in Legal Pot

According to a recent study, instead of a reduction in opioid overdoses, medical marijuana was associated with a 23 percent increase in overdose deaths. 

Read more here and here.
Minnesota Department of Health Issues Health Advisory: Severe Acute Lung Disease Among Youth Who Report Vaping
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is encouraging Minnesota health care providers to be on alert for novel cases of severe lung disease potentially related to vaping and e-cigarette use among teens and young adults. Children’s Minnesota has reported finding four cases of severe lung injury in the metro area potentially related to vaping.
 Use of both nicotine and marijuana-based products were reported. The state health department is also asking providers to look for similar cases and report them. Clinicians should ask patients who present with pulmonary symptoms about tobacco and marijuana use, particularly vaping. Clinicians should consult with pulmonologists and evaluate for infectious diseases when treating patients with pulmonary symptoms who report a history of vaping.
Preliminary Statewide data shows drug overdose deaths and opioid-involved deaths decreased from 2017 to 2018
Overdose rates remain at historic highs and indicate the amount of work still needed in prevention and treatment of substance use disorder. Read the Preliminary 2018 Drug Overdose Deaths (PDF) report on the MDH Opioid Dashboard. Visit the Opioid Dashboard to learn more about overdose data, opioid emergency response, lifesaving naloxone and preventing the demand for drugs. Read more from the Minnesota Department of Health here...
Prescription Drug Use
Among Adults Aged 40-79 in the US & Canada

Among U.S. adults aged 40-79, 69% used one or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days and 22.4% used five or more. In both the US and Canada, use of one or more prescription drugs was higher among women compared with men. The top five most common types of prescription drugs used by adults varied by age and country. Among adults aged 40-59, antidepressants were the most commonly used drug type among US adults, while analgesics were the most commonly used drug type by Canadian adults. Monitoring the use of prescription drugs provides valuable insights into the health and health care of adults. For additional details, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Upcoming Trainings

Marijuana Prevention Workshop

Registration Link: Marijuana Workshop Registration
When: Wednesday, September 25th from 10am-2pm
Where: Cambria Hotel in Maple Grove (9655 Grove Circle North)

Workshop Objectives:

  • Participants will leave the workshop with talking points about marijuana to bring back to their communities.

  • Participants will leave with prevention strategies to consider to prevent marijuana use among youth and young adults.

  • Participants will learn about the benefits of smoke-free housing policies, the intersection of smoke-free tobacco policies and marijuana, answers to commonly asked questions from property managers, how MN managers are preparing for a potential future of increased marijuana use, and resources available to stakeholder's interested in making their building smoke free.

  • Participants will have an opportunity to start planning what conversations and next steps they will have back in their communities

Online Training Course: Opioid Overdose Prevention
5 hour online training course to help understand and address the opioid crisis.
Who should attend? Prevention practitioners & others working to prevent opioid overdoses
Find out more information here!

2019 Minnesota Prevention Program Sharing Conference
When: October 24 and October 25
Where: Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, 350 Harbor Drive, Duluth, MN 55802
Who should attend?
Those interested in preventing substance abuse in their communities.
Find out more information here!

CADCA's Online Courses

Coalition Core Essentials--- Do you need a refresher course?

Coalition Core Essentials is an online course intended for coalition leaders, staff, volunteers and partners. Based on CADCA's National Coalition Academy, this online course consists of 10 interactive modules that each take 30-60 minutes to complete.

You may complete the entire series in order, or take separate modules as "refreshers" on particular topics. During each module, you'll have the chance to print your responses to "Reflection Questions." You can use this customized document as a guide for your own next steps in contributing to your coalition's work. Click here for the online course.


Upcoming PFC Meetings
This newsletter was developed in part under grant number SP 020307-10 from the Office of National Drug Control Policy and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 
Copyright © 2019 North Memorial Health, All rights reserved.

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