Steele County Safe & Drug Free Coalition Initiatives
Take It to the Box
Steele County “Take It to the Box” Campaign. Currently, there are two collection boxes, located in the Law Enforcement Center lobby on 204 E Pearl Street, Owatonna and at the Blooming Prairie City Hall 138 Hwy Ave S, Blooming Prairie. These boxes are available to dispose of unwanted medications.
The Take It to the Box program has collected 7,000 pounds of prescription drugs in Steele County since 2011.
- 2011 = 690 lbs.
- 2012 = 733 lbs.
- 2013 = 747 lbs.
- 2014 = 637 lbs.
- 2015 = 988 lbs.
- 2016 = 1,205 lbs.
- 2017 = 1,058 lbs.
- 2018 = 1,033 lbs.
- 2019 = 1,200 lbs.
Steele County Safe & Drug Free Coalition strongly encourages citizens to be proactive about keeping prescription medications out of the wrong hands.
The next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be April 25, 2020.
Hidden in Plain Sight
The Steele County Safe & Drug Free Coalition is providing information and enhancing the skills of parents to see the signs of substance use possibly “Hidden in Plain Sight” in their child’s room, backpack, bags or car. Our goal is to encourage parents to connect with their child through conversations. Awareness is key to prevent chemical substance use before it ever becomes an issue with their child. If your organization is interested in having the “Hidden in Plain Sight” display set up at your location, please contact us. [Note: this is designed for adult education purposes.]
Red Ribbon Week
October 23–31, 2020
Our coalition supports a week of activities in our local schools and community to raise awareness and provide drug prevention education.
The National Red Ribbon Campaign is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation reaching millions of young people.
Our Community Outreach Committee and Youth Advisory Board have started the planning process for several fun activities this fall. More details to be announced closer to the date. Please contact us, if you’re interested in volunteering for Red Ribbon Week.
Parents Who Host, Lose the Most
Parents Who Host, Lose the Most: Don’t Be a Party to Teenage Drinking educates parents about the health and safety risks of providing alcohol to teenagers and increases awareness of underage drinking laws.
High school prom, graduation parties, and summer vacation correlate with an increase in alcohol accessibility as underage drinking parties become more prevalent.
During this time of year (April – June), our goal as a coalition is to help educate parents and students about the risks, legal consequences, local social host ordinance, liability, and financial implications associated with providing alcohol to minors. We also want to promote to healthy choices.
With the help of high school students and coalition volunteers, we hope to partner with local liquor establishments through a media and sticker campaign, which will result in placing a sticker on countless cases of beer to remind young adults and parents not to supply alcohol to minors, because an individual can face up to $1,000 in fines or up to 90 days in jail. Don’t Buy or Supply.
Talk. They Hear You.
The “Talk. They Hear You.” Underage Drinking Prevention National Media Campaign empowers parents and caregivers to talk with children early about alcohol.
The campaign aims to: Increase parents’ awareness of the prevalence and risk of underage drinking, equip parents with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to prevent underage drinking and increase parents’ actions to prevent underage drinking. Research shows that parents are the leading influence on their child’s decisions about alcohol. Although it may not seem like it, when parents talk about underage drinking, their children do hear them.
T21 Next Steps
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has officially changed the federal minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21.The new minimum age applies to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaping cartridges. This took effect December 20, 2019. The Coalition along with our community partners provided information to the local city council and voted to raise the purchase age effective October 4, 2019. Since then we’ve been working on the next steps to address quitting strategies for youth addicted and to help retailers comply with recent changes.
Young Lungs at Play
Our goal as a coalition is to educate our community on the importance of Tobacco-Free Park and Recreation areas for our youth. Exposure to secondhand smoke has immediate health consequences on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems and even in an outdoor setting imposes a risk. Discarded cigarettes and chewing tobacco may be ingested by toddlers. Tobacco-free environments promote positive community role modeling and protect the health, safety and welfare of community members. Nearly 100 Minnesota cities and counties have adopted tobacco-free policies for their outdoor recreation facilities and park areas. Help Steele County lead the way!
If you’re interested in more information of ways to get involved, please contact us.
Start a conversation, the Safe & Drug Free Coalition wants to gain perspective on the lifestyle and culture of youth through photography. It’s also a great way to start a conversation with a young person about positive life choices.
The topics we will be exploring
- What leads to alcohol and substance use among youth in Steele County?
- What prevents youth from using alcohol & substances in Steele County?
Take a walk, bring a camera/phone and start a conversation.
Please share an image and short story with us at: [email protected]
Your Photo Voice may be featured on our website and Facebook page to help spark interest and raise awareness that will lead to positive change in our community. There is no deadline, it’s an on-going activity. Your participation is greatly appreciated.
Bonfire Prevention Fundraiser
In the fall, we partner with the Owatonna Activities Department, Schem’s Kettle Corn, S.H.O.C. and law enforcement to host a bonfire at the Parent’s Night at the Husky Football game. Funds raised go towards local youth prevention initiatives.
Bright Futures Education
The coalition in partnership with the School Districts, Public Health, Students Helping Others Choose, Students Against Destructive Decisions and Towards Zero Death Committee have collaborated to provide fun and meaningful educational opportunities focused on substance prevention, safety and making good choices. This ranges from classroom visits, lunch time activities, mock crashes, impaired goggles, seat belt challenges, driving simulators, creating PSA videos and much more with the goal of influencing the idea that “Good Choices Lead to Bright Futures.”
100 Cups of Coffee
Our Steering Committee wants to hear from YOU! In 2020, we will be gathering feedback through the 100 Cups of Coffee initiative. It takes all sectors of the community to collectively work together to empower our youth to choose a chemical free lifestyle. Working with an evaluator, we have prepared an interview guide to gather feedback on the coalition’s goals. If you’d like to be interviewed, please contact us. Thank you for considering.
Night to Unite
This annual celebration occurs on the first Tuesday in August and gathers neighborhoods and public safety personnel together for an evening to promote safe communities. 2020 Night to Unite will take place on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. Night to Unite goals are to: Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness. If your neighborhood chooses to participate, contact the Owatonna Police Department to find out more information on activities involved.