Welcome to SAFE in Northern Michigan newsletter!

SAFE in Northern Michigan exists to prevent youth substance use, increase community awareness and create change through collaboration, education, prevention initiatives and environmental strategies of tobacco, alcohol, and other substance use in Antrim, Charlevoix and Emmet counties. Each quarter, we'll bring you updates on the latest efforts by SAFE to prevent youth substance use in our communities!

Keeping up with SAFE Youth

During September 2019, the SAFE Youth kicked off the year with our annual meeting at Camp Daggett! At our Camp Daggett meeting over 60 youth from Antrim, Charlevoix, and Emmet counties participated in a variety of team building activities. Youth also planned SAFE activities for the 2019-2020 school year.

One of those activities was their homecoming project. During the 2019 homecoming season, SAFE Youth, alongside a law enforcement officer, went into local convenience stores and placed stickers directly on alcohol containers reminding adults to not provide or buy alcohol for minors, an activity known as sticker shock! The SAFE Youth also passed out prevention bracelets to high school students at their respective schools, which said “SAY BYE TO GETTING HIGH” & “THE BEST ME IS DRUG FREE”.

During October 2019 SAFE Youth selected their varsity poster athletes to be featured in their school hallways. The varsity poster project highlights a drug-free athlete and this poster is strategically placed where middle school students will see it and have a positive influence on them!

In November 2019, the SAFE Youth met with Representative Lee Chatfield and Senator Wayne Schmidt to discuss their concerns about youth vaping rates and how teens are attracted to vaping because of the 7,000+ flavors. The SAFE youth were able to share personal stories about how vaping impacts their school and how youth are being targeted by advertisement on social media like Snapchat.

The SAFE Youth also hosted SAFE Afterhours, which is a drug-free event for middle and high school students. At this event there is a variety of activities that youth participated in, from karaoke, to cookie decorating, carnival games, and many gym games! It was a fun night for students and adult volunteers!

In December, SAFE Youth give out message pencils to all high school students in Antrim, Charlevoix and Emmet counties. This year the message was “He sees you when you are smoking."  Students and teachers always appreciate getting these mechanical pencils before the holidays.

Legal age for tobacco use now 21

In December 2019, Congress passed a law to raise the minimum legal sales age for all tobacco products from 18 to 21 nationwide. It is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product - including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes - to anyone under 21. It is important to note that the law does not exempt anyone or group - including active duty military - from the age requirements, nor does it include a phase in approach, meaning the law was effectively as of December 2019. State and local governments are being encouraged to update their own Tobacco 21 laws to align with federal law and to ensure compliance with the law. 

SAFE Youth champion

Meet Jaeger Griswold, a junior at Ellsworth High School. Jaeger has been a member of SAFE for two years, during which he's participated in Capitol Hill Day where he was a part of a select group of SAFE members who spoke to State Representative Triston Cole and Speaker Lee Chatfield about the seriousness and danger of the vaping epidemic in our communities. Jaeger also attended a week-long Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) training, which expanded his knowledge on how to lead the coalition. "By being a part of SAFE, this organization has personally helped me to become more educated and aware of the dangers of substance use among youth." said Jaeger. "I feel more confident now to be able to share with my friends reasons why they should remain substance free," he added. 

Meet the adult coalition members

Randy Koch is well position to serve as the chair of the SAFE adult coalition. As the behavioral health manager for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Health Department, he is responsible for prevention programs, substance use disorder and mental health treatment programs, and support services. As a member of SAFE for the pasts eight years, Randy has been focused on improving the general health of our community and decreasing the impact of substance abuse and mental health problems. His favorite part of serving on the SAFE coalition is being involved in leading prevention efforts in our community. In his free time, Randy loves to spend time with his family! 

Traveling teen bedroom brings awareness to drug trends

SAFE in Northern Michigan is working to educate parents on the emerging substance use trends for teens by creating a replica of a teen’s bedroom that travels to various sites. The purpose of the trailer is to inform parents about vaping, marijuana, underage drinking and other substance use related items. Local schools have noted an increase in the use of vaping devices by their students. Many parents have reported being unaware of current drug trends and delivery devices. As parents enter the trailer, they can choose to have a guided tour from a trained SAFE Coalition member or use digital posters to learn about items that can be used for vaping/marijuana or disguising substance use.

Learn more or schedule the trailer for an upcoming event
Did you know that SAFE is a nonprofit organization that is partially funded by sponsorships? Each year, local businesses and organizations help provide donations that help fund SAFE programs and activities. The SAFE in Northern Michigan Fund is held at the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation. We would appreciate your sponsorship! 
Learn more about becoming a sponsor
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