By Kathryn Menue

Editor

BELVIDERE – On Monday, Oct. 19, the Boone County Drug Prevention Coalition met to further discuss strategic plans and projects the coalition has been working toward since their foundation in 2013.

The meeting began at 3:30 p.m. at the Boone County Health Department, located at 1204 Logan Ave. in Belvidere. Beginning the meeting, State’s Attorney Michelle Courier updated the members of the coalition on the Prescription Drug Disposal unit located at 615 North Main St. in Belvidere.

According to Courier, the disposal unit has been very successful in extricating drugs off the streets. In the first week alone, the disposal unit collected 67 pounds of prescription drugs.

The Belvidere Police Department is also happy with these results and is looking to fund an incinerator to dispose of the controlled substances using the money from their drug forfeiture fund.

However, problems have risen on the legality of the incinerator with Boone County Drug Prevention Coalition Coordinator Kristina Olsen stating that incinerating locally is against the law, even though “a lot of departments [in other counties] are [incinerating] and don’t realize it’s illegal.”

Plus, the incinerator would only take care of controlled substances and not the uncontrolled substances that also are disposed of in the Prescription Drug Disposal unit.

Marion Thornberry also raised the question on what type of incinerator would be purchased for such disposal because that would affect the legality of the process as well.

Olsen said she would contact the DEA to get a more definitive answer on the incinerator.

Strategic Planning

As a coalition, the members came up with problem statements and goals that they would like to work on in the coming years.

The problem statements include:

“Alcohol use among Boone County middle and high school students resulting in arrests, addiction, suspensions, and increased use of more powerful drugs.

Tobacco use among Boone County 6th through 8th grade students resulting in health problems, addiction, and suspensions.

Prescription drug use among Boone County middle and high school students resulting in arrests, overdose, emergency room visits, and suspensions.”

These problem statements are not the only concerns in the community, but, through research, the coalition found that these are the greatest target issues within the community. Chair Ellen Genrich said that the coalition studied data from the Illinois Youth Survey and other sources in order to create the problem statements.

With these statements, the coalition also generated goals which include:

“Decrease past 30-day alcohol use among Boone County middle and high school students to less than 20 percent by 2020.

Decrease past 30-day marijuana use among Boone County middle and high school students to less than seven percent by 2020.

Decrease past 30-day tobacco use among Boone County middle school students to less than seven percent by 2020.

Decrease past 30-day prescription drug use among Boone County middle and high school students to less than 2.5 percent by 2020.”

The coalition would like to further study this topic from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 9 in order to come up with objectives on how to accomplish these goals.

Grants

The coalition is proud to announce that they have received a $500 grant from the Boone County Community Foundation.

“I’ve been very excited with our coalition,” Olsen said with the progress they’ve been making.

Joining the coalition

The coalition is open for anyone to join or become involved with through volunteering. The coalition membership includes parents, youth ages 11 to 18, schools, law enforcement, state and local government, healthcare professionals, faith based organizations, businesses, youth serving organizations, media, civic and volunteer groups, and prevention professionals.

For more information, call (815) 387-2536, or email bcdpc@yahoo.com, or visit them online at www.BCDPC.weebly.com.

The next regular meeting is on Monday, Dec. 7 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Boone County Health Department, located at 1204 Logan Ave.

 
 
 
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