Northland Coalition Survey Asks Liberty Community To Help Set Priorities and Design Effective Programs
Oct. 4, 2017
Laura Bruce, Prevention Program Development Specialist
The Northland Coalition, a group of volunteer advocates working to combat violence and substance abuse with the support of Tri-County Mental Health Services (TCMHS), is asking Liberty residents to complete a brief survey which reflects the community’s concerns and suggestions on how the coalition can best address them.
The survey is open to any adult 18 years of age and older who lives or works in Clay, Platte and Ray counties. Those completing the survey will have the opportunity to enter a drawing for $25 gift cards.
“The coalition is focused on designing programs and pursuing legislation that fits the needs of each Northland community,” Kendra Callaway of Liberty Alliance for Youth (LAFY) said. Callaway is the Prevention Program Director of LAFY. “It is important that the Liberty residents offer their input on the survey so the voices of our area are heard about the issues and challenges most affecting our particular community.”
“The dedicated community volunteers of the Northland Coalition are committed to making each of our communities safer and free from substance misuse,” Laura Bruce said. Bruce is the TCMHS Prevention Program Development Specialist. “This brief survey will be so valuable to us. It will help us prioritize your specific community concerns and inform us about how to effectively design our programs and legislative efforts to address them.”
The survey is available through April at www.surveymonkey.com/r/NCSurvey2018, or on the Northland Coalition’s website at www.northlandcoalition.com as well as their Facebook page. In addition, a link to the survey is being sent via a mass e-mailing to the coalition’s database.
LAFY wins award from the Community Wellness Initiative
LAFY has received a “Community Health in Action Award” in consideration for the Parenting Coping Skills mailer and social media campaign, and the recent Parenting series at the Liberty Community Center.
The Community Health in Action Award was created in 2014 as a way for Clay County Public Health, Tri County Mental Health Services, and all 4 Clay County hospitals to recognize and thank community members and organizations who are working to improve the health of Clay County and create positive outcomes.
Northland Agencies Offer Safe Prescription Disposal on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Set for Oct. 28
Oct. 4, 2017
Vicky Ward, Prevention Services Mgr. TCMHS
Residents Reminded to Bring Their Unwanted Prescription Drugs to Northland Sites for Safe Disposal and to Keep Them From Misuse by Teens and Others
The Northland Coalition, with the support of Tri-County Mental Health Services, has partnered with the DEA, law enforcement agencies and other communities across the country to encourage the responsible disposal of prescriptions during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Oct. 28. The service is free and anonymous
October is National Prevention Month and the Take Back event offers the community another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Studies show that the preponderance of abused prescription drugs are obtained from the medicine cabinets of family and friends, resulting, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), in the significantly high rates of prescription drug abuse and accidental poisonings and overdoses.
A fact sheet on teen medicine abuse compiled by the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America (CADCA) cites many warnings about the widespread misuse and abuse of prescription drugs by teenagers.
The CADCA reports that surveys from the National Institute on Drug Abuse report that 20 percent of teens say they have taken a prescription drug without having a prescription.
The CADCA says the most commonly abused prescription medications include opioids and pain relievers such as hydrocodone (Vicodin®) and oxycodone (OxyContin®); barbiturates and benzodiazepines including diazepam (Valium®) and alprazolam (Xanax®); and stimulants including dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine® or Adderall®) and methylphenidate (Ritalin® or Concerta®)
In addition to prescription drugs, some over-the-counter (OTC) drugs can be misused. Five percent of teens surveyed report abusing over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicine to get high. The CADCA says teens can use as much as 25 times the recommended dose of the more than 100 cough medicines containing dextromethorphan (DXM) on the market in order to get high. When taken in excessive amounts, the CADC says DXM can cause very serious side effects affecting heartbeat, blood pressure and memory as well as causing nausea and vomiting.
The CADCA recommends parents and guardians talk to their teens about prescription and OTC cough medicine abuse, share information about prescription and OTC medicine use, safeguard medicines in the home and properly dispose of medicines no longer needed.
In addition to misuse, the improper disposal of prescription drugs, such as flushing them, can negatively impact the water supply and community at large.
Prevention Services Manager Vicky Ward, Tri-County Mental Health Services, the administrative support for the Northland Coalition, emphasizes the importance of the issue. “Since 1999 fatal drug overdoses from prescriptions have tripled, exceeding overdoses from heroin and cocaine.”
Ward said properly disposing of unused or unneeded prescription drugs is critical in addressing their misuse.
Ward said the community’s enthusiastic response to the Take Back program, which was established in 2009, has been gratifying. “Both our law enforcement agencies and the community at large have recognized the importance of this issue.”
Currently there are 12 permanent drop box sites, located in area Law Enforcement agencies across Clay, Platte and Ray Counties. The sites and their hours of operation include:
Excelsior Springs Police Dept. Lobby
301 South Main, Excelsior Springs, Mo 64024
Permanent Drop Off hours: Open 24 hours daily
Gladstone Police Dept.
7010 N. Holmes, Gladstone, Mo. 64118
(816) 436-3550: Drop Off hours: Open 24 hours daily
Kearney Police Dept.
725 W. 92 Highway, Kearney, Mo. 64060
Drop Off hours: M-F 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
and 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
KCMO Police North Patrol Lobby
11000 NW Prairie View Road, Kansas City, MO 64153
(816) 437-6200 Drop Off Hours: Open 24 hours daily
KCMO Police Shoal Creek Patrol Lobby
6801 NE Pleasant Valley Rd., Kansas City, Mo. 64119
(816) 413-3400 Drop Off Hours: Open 24 hours daily
Lawson Police Dept.
103 W. 3rd St., Lawson, Mo. 64062
(816) 580-7210 Drop Off Hours: M-F 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
(Advised to call before coming.)
Liberty Police Dept. Lobby
101 E. Kansas St., Liberty, Mo. 64068
(816) 439-4716 Drop Off Hours: Open 24 hours daily
North Kansas City Police Dept. Lobby
2020 Howell Street, North Kansas City, Mo. 64116
(816) 274-6013 Drop Off Hours: Open 24 hours daily
Platte County Sheriff’s Office Lobby
415 Third Street, Platte City, Mo. 64079
(816) 858-2424 Drop Off Hours: M-F 8:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m.
Richmond Police Dept.
205 Summit St., Richmond, Mo. 64085
(816) 776-3575; Drop Off Hours: M-F 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Riverside Police Dept. Lobby
2990 NW Vivion Road, Riverside, Mo. 64150
(816) 741-1191 Drop Off Hours: 24 hours daily
Smithville Police Dept. Lobby
107 West Main Street, Smithville, Mo. 64089
(816) 532-0500 Drop Off Hours: M-F 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
If any of the listed drop sites are not convenient, those interested can visit www.dea.gov, type in their zip code and find the drop location nearest to them.
WHAT NOT TO BRING – WON’T BE ACCEPTED
- Do not bring illicit drugs (e.g. cocaine, marijuana, etc.) KCPD asks that anyone finding illicit drugs call 911 and ask for an officer to respond to the location.
- Not accepted: sharp objects, including needles, radioactive medicines, bio-hazardous materials or glass thermometers or other medical devices.
For those unable to use the Prescription Drug Take Back boxes in their area, the following method of disposal is recommended:
Remove and shred labels from the bottles. Crush pills and mix them with coffee grounds or kitty litter. Place the mixture in a sealed container and dispose of it with trash.
For further information about the Take Back program or prescription drug abuse, contact the Northland Coalition by visiting www.northlandcoalition.com or calling 816-877-0401
Liberty Alliance for Youth (LAFY) Awarded Renewed Federal Grant to Fund Prevention Work
Sept. 27, 2017
The Drug-Free Communities Support Program has renewed a federal grant $125,000 awarded to the Liberty Alliance for Youth to help fund their work in prevention.
LAFY is a group of volunteers from the fields of education, health and law, as well as the community at large, who are dedicated to creating an environment in which youth will avoid substances and choose healthy lifestyles.
The nationally acclaimed alliance of volunteers is supported by Tri-County Mental Health Services, and funded through grants and donations from community businesses and individuals.
LAFY first received the Drug-Free Community grant from the White House Drug Policy Office in 2014. To be considered for renewal of the federal grant, the coalition had to demonstrate successful outcomes for their prevention efforts.
The DFC Program was created by the Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997. It is the nation’s leading effort to encourage individual communities to organize and create effective programs to reduce youth substance use.
LAFY programs, which are focused on community education and youth outreach, have received regional and national recognition for their positive impact on the community.
Among the successful prevention programs developed by LAFY this year are a social marketing campaign to educate parents on their impact as role models for healthy coping strategies, educating youth about healthy coping skills for stress management, and a peer-to-peer mentoring program to encourage youth to remain substance free.
“We are so pleased the hard work and dedication of our volunteers to educate our youth on the benefits of choosing healthy, substance free lifestyles continues to be rewarded,” LAFY Program Director Kendra Callaway said.
The group, which holds monthly luncheon meetings to plan and create programs and events, welcomes anyone who lives or works in the Liberty area to join them.
For more information about LAFYI visit the website at libertyalliance4youth.com or contact Prevention Program Director Kendra Callaway at (816) 679-5361 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Liberty Alliance for Youth Launches New Website
LAFY Program Coordinator:
Liberty Alliance for Youth (LAFY) has launched a new, all-inclusive website at libertyalliance4youth.com.
The website includes information on the various programs of the volunteer youth advocacy group, which works with the support of Tri-County Mental Health Services, is dedicated to reducing alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse and violence to improve the Liberty community.
“We’re excited to give the community easy access to information about LAFY,” program director Kendra Callaway said. “Our volunteers are dedicated to creating a safe environment in which our youth can thrive.”
Callaway said the coalition always extends an open invitation to anyone living or working in the Liberty area to join them at their monthly luncheon meetings. “Our group is composed of parents and residents, as well as members of the education field, social and legal agencies, law enforcement, and the faith community.”
Callaway said by visiting the new web site anyone interested will be able to find out about some of LAFY’s successful programs that have received national acclaim, as well as review a calendar of upcoming meetings, events and programs.
“We designed the website to be user friendly, so anyone can easily navigate it,” Callaway said.
For more information about Liberty Alliance for Youth, contact Callaway at (816) 679-5361.