Summer Coordinator's Report

Eaton County Substance Abuse Advisory Group

…Providing our community with substance abuse prevention strategies and solutions

Rx Drug Disposal at Recycle Palooza

Saturday, August 20th

Dispose of your unwanted prescription medication and all kinds of hazardous waste in one day! On Saturday August 20th from 9 am to 2 pm in Charlotte, Eaton County Resource Recovery will be hosting a huge recycling event. For a full list of items accepted, including unwanted medication and sharps (in approved containers), click here:

Disposing properly of prescription medications helps prevent Rx drug abuse especially among youth. The majority of persons age 12 and over who abuse prescription pain killers get them from a relative or friend--and often from a home medicine cabinet. Help make our community safe and clean and join this recycling and disposal event. Keep medications in original containers and cross out all personal information.

To register please call (517) 543-3686 or email Exact location will be revealed upon completion of registration.

Peer Assistance and Leadership (PAL) Training for Youth

In June, our Eaton RESA staff trained over 100 new Peer Assistance and Leadership students to be positive role models and peer mentors in their tri-county area high schools. The PAL program combats problems such as bullying, drug abuse, suicide and truancy just to name a few by providing peer to peer support to students who might need a friend, a helping hand or a referral to a school counselor. The goal of the program is to tap into the potential of young people to make a difference in their own schools and communities.

After careful selection of PAL candidates by school representatives, the students (known as "PALs") undergo an intensive 18-hour training with a focus on communication skills, decision-making, group development and problem-solving. Upon completion of training, the PALs are placed in peer-to-peer situations with other students in which they use the training skills to develop positive, supportive, and helpful relationships. The PAL program empowers students to serve effectively in specific peer-to-peer and general leadership roles. Some schools choose to use their PALs to: be mentors to be incoming freshman, run peer mediation sessions or peer listening sessions and offer substance abuse prevention programs with middle school youth--just to name a few functions.

CADCA Mid-Year Conference: Lessons on Marijuana

Several ECSAAG members attended the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America (CADCA) mid-year training institute this summer in Las Vegas. When asked what themes stood out most from the conference, our ECSAAG representatives agreed they learned the most about marijuana and the effects of its legalization.

Jeremy Mulvany, current ECSAAG chairperson, said being at a national conference helped him gain valuable perspectives from other state prevention coalitions. "The most interesting viewpoints came from people in Colorado who repeatedly echoed the unforseen problems stemming from the legalization of marijuana. They talked about the ‘real’ issues that aren’t readily reported in the media and how it has been nothing but a detriment to their economy and to their state as a whole.”

Kim Thalison, ERESA Prevention Services Supervisor, noted a few of the unpublicized consequences Colorado has experienced since marijuana legalization:

1. There is a 152% increase in homelessness.

2. Major events and conferences have pulled out of Colorado because of the changed downtown atmosphere.

3. Citations for public use have gone up but they are not enforceable because of court capacity.

4. There have been deaths related to psychosis caused by consuming edibles with high levels of THC.

5. In 20% of traffic fatalities, marijuana has been reported in the system of one of the drivers.

6. Youth use has risen 3-5% each year.

7. High school discipline with marijuana has doubled, stretching thin administrative resources.

8. Nearly 30% of kids caught using have gotten marijuana from a friend or relative.

Thalison said the audiences most likely to advocate for preventing legalization are teachers and parents. "Teachers are going to take the heat for not being able to teach teens with lower IQ's due to marijuana use. They are going to have students who have a 50% fail rate in college graduation."

Parents are another easy ally. They care about their children's education and health. According to scientific research, Thalison said "marijuana use in young adults can make mental illness express earlier and more severe than if they had not used. No adult wants to see their children face those consequences. We can and must help educate parents about the effects of youth marijuana use on the developing brain."

Effects of Marijuana on the Brain

Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America (CADCA) conference presentations are available online for those unable to attend in person. In this keynote address, keep abreast of the current science on marijuana and the human brain, especially in regards to teens.
Dr. Madras discussed the importance of using science to inform the public about marijuana's harm

safeTALK Suicide Prevention Training

Friday, Aug. 26th, 8:30am-12pm

1790 Packard Highway

Charlotte, MI

Suicide is preventable. Anyone can make a difference. Attend the half-day safeTALK program and learn to identify people who may have thoughts of suicide, ask them directly about the possibility of suicide, and connect them to live-saving resources.

safeTALK is open to anyone 15 or older, regardless of prior experience. Both professionals and members of the general public can benefit from safeTALK.

Why take safeTALK?

LIFE-SAVING: Anyone can experience thoughts of suicide. By connecting friends, family members, colleagues, and students with helping resources, safeTALK participants can help save lives in their communities.

SIMPLE YET EFFECTIVE: safeTALK uses the easy-to-follow TALK steps—Tell, Ask, Listen, and KeepSafe—and includes time to practice them so the knowledge is retained.

ENGAGING: safeTALK is a dynamic training that incorporates presentations and audiovisuals. It invites participants to become more alert to the possibility of suicide and how to prevent it.

TRUSTED: More than 50,000 people attend safeTALK each year. safeTALK is used in over 20 countries worldwide, and many communities, organizations, and agencies have made it a core training program.

PROVEN: Studies show that safeTALK participants feel more confident asking people about suicide, connecting them with life-saving resources, and keeping them safe until those resources can take over.

REGISTER: Online at

COST: Free to all within Eaton RESA service area

QUESTIONS: Email Stacy Gatz at or call 517-541-8736