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Substance Abuse Award to Gateway ImpACT

The Gateway ImpACT Coalition is a community focused, collaborative effort to combat substance abuse in Iowa. Last year they were instrumental in installing four medication collection boxes in police departments in Camanche, Clinton (2), and DeWitt. Last month, they were recognized by the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy for their efforts in combating substance abuse.

The medication boxes allow anyone to anonymously drop off expired or unused medications with no questions asked. Having this resource allows removal of drugs from households, drugs that might otherwise end up in the hands of teens or sold on the street. The home medicine cabinet is an attractive nuisance for young people who might want to experiment with what they find. Most are savvy enough to check out the drugs on the Internet but some simply ask friends what to try. Either way, the risks are the same – addiction and possibly a visit to the emergency room.

According to reporting in the Clinton Herald, Iowa is one of the top states for prescription drug abuse.

The Gateway ImpACT Coalition received the award, not just for their educational role or the medication turn-in boxes, but for their work on the yearly “Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day” – something they’ve worked on each of the last five years. Their efforts are responsible for removing more than a ton of prescription drugs from possibly supplying the illegal market.

More about the Medication Drop Box program can be found here. There website also allows registration for the TIPS program, a certification program for servers or other retailers who sell alcohol to the public. The program offers (from their site): “Participating businesses will also receive valuable free resources including sample alcohol policies, new hire training forms, a new hire training DVD, signage, and more. TIPS will teach employees how to properly card individuals and to serve alcohol responsibly. Getting employees TIPS certified could also reduce Dram Shop insurance

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