Many people use medications out of necessity.  Perhaps you are one of them.  If so, it is important that drugs prescribed to you and over-the-counter medications purchased by you for your use are used only by you.  One way you can help make sure no one uses your medications but you is to dispose of your outdated and unnecessary drugs properly.


Pierce County residents are fortunate because several area law enforcement agencies and the Pierce County Recycling Center help you do that.  Drop off sites are located all through the year by the dispatch/jail window at the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and in either the office or lobby area of the Ellsworth Police Department, the Prescott Police Department, and the River Falls Police Department.  Special red painted stations identify where both personal and pet medications can be dropped off anonymously and free of charge.  In addition, the Pierce County Recycling Center hosts Spring and Fall “Clean Sweep” days at its location at 707 N. Maple St./Hwy 65 N. in Ellsworth.


When using these collection sites, medications should be left in their original containers with personal information blacked out.  Needles and medical sharps are not accepted.


The Pierce County Recycling Center will hold its Spring “Clean Sweep” day on Saturday, April 12, from 8:00 a.m. to Noon.  Two hundred pounds of medication was collected during their last event.


It’s time for Spring cleaning.  Why not begin with your not needed medications?

April is the month!

Turningpoint needs your support in our efforts to end sexual violence and child abuse in our community.


April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention Month.  April is set aside across the nation for every community to collectively focus upon the societal problem of sexual violence and child abuse and the ways in which services like ours are working to end this violence and seek justice for its victims.  Nationally, 1 in 4 females and 1 in 6 males will be sexually assaulted before the age of 18 and almost five children a day die as a result of child abuse.


In the next week or so, you may notice blue and teal ribbons throughout the main street area in River Falls.  The blue ribbon represents our support in the prevention of child abuse in our community, while the teal ribbon represents our support in the fight to end sexual violence.  Child abuse and sexual assault are two of the most underreported crimes in the world today.  These are problems in our community and all over the world.  Making these blue and teal ribbons visible will bring community awareness to such a taboo topic.  So what can you do to help?  It is as easy as sharing this information with your friends and family throughout the month of April.


In addition, we want to encourage you to attend our Pottery for Prevention fundraising event on April 27th at The Phipps in Hudson.  For more information on this event, please contact Jen Rhead at 715-425-6751 x105.  Another event that you can take part in is Denim Day on April 24th.  On this day, people around the world wear denim to show support for survivors and victims of sexual violence.  For more information on denim day, please contact Katie Ryan at 715-425-6751 x104.

New Synthetic Drug – “GRAVEL”


GRAVEL, a highly addictive synthetic stimulant is an emerging drug of abuse similar to the cathinone known as bath salts. While the primary component of GRAVEL is alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone (alpha-PVP), it is often used in combination with other drugs. Seizures of the drug have also been found to contain methamphetamine, Klonopin and bath salts. The Drug Enforcement Administration lists alpha-PVP as a Schedule I controlled substance analog, similar to other synthetic drugs like bath salts. Law enforcement testing confirms that rat poison and ammonium nitrate are also utilized to dilute the alpha-PVP.

Law enforcement officials report that mail delivery systems are used for the transportation and distribution of alpha-PVP in bulk quantities. Police in Kingsport, Tennessee have seized alpha-PVP labeled as “plant fertilizer” with no other markings. Sources indicate that local dealers in the state of Tennessee are diluting the alpha-PVP with ammonia and other drugs to produce the rock-like substance sold as GRAVEL on the street.


GRAVEL is found in a form similar to small rocks or pieces of salt and can be injected or smoked. Short-term effects of GRAVEL abuse are increased blood pressure, elevated heart rate, violence, paranoia, hallucinations and brain damage. GRAVEL is relatively new and therefore long term effects have not been documented. Law enforcement officials have reported a high propensity for property crime by abusers.

Physicians have reported a serious deterioration in physical appearance after consistent abuse of the drug. The injection of GRAVEL can result in the deterioration of the tissue in and around the injection site leaving gaping holes in the body tissue that can be inches deep.


The Kingsport, Tennessee Police Department and the Sullivan County, Tennessee Sheriff’s Office have reported approximately 20 incidents involving GRAVEL in the past year.

In August 2013, Sullivan County, Tennessee Sheriff’s deputies responded to a domestic disturbance at an apartment complex. A man, who had reportedly taken GRAVEL and appeared paranoid, became enraged with his girlfriend claiming she had him under surveillance. Other reports of erratic behavior have been linked to GRAVEL abuse in the Kingsport, Tennessee area.

In November 2013, Washington County, Tennessee officials conducted a traffic stop that resulted in the seizure of 6 bags of GRAVEL.

Sources: Drug Enforcement Administration, GC HIDTA BLOC Watch Center, Kingsport, Tennessee Police Department, Sullivan County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office.

Parents of pre-teens and teens need help with parenting, too!

Parents of pre-teens and teens need help with parenting, too! New University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension website offers place for parents of teens to learn, share and connect

As young teens begin to push the limits and test their boundaries, parents can feel overwhelmed and question their parenting ability. “Even though their children don’t require the same sort of hands-on attention that they did when they were small, parents of adolescents face different, but equally demanding, challenges than they did when their children were younger,” states Stephen Small, human development and family relations specialist with the UW-Extension and UW-Madison. In response to the need for online parenting opportunities for parents of preteens and teens, family scholars from the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension have developed a new website and program called Parenthetical (www.myparenthetical.com) that is aimed at parents of tweens and teens throughout the state.

“Parents feel like they should be experienced, and they may feel it’s a sign of weakness or lack of parenting ability if they seek help,” says Rebecca Mather, outreach specialist with UW-Extension. “However, parents benefit from sharing strategies and the opportunity to process their feelings and information.” Parenthetical combines the functions of a blog, an informational website and a social network. Parents can share problems and ask questions and get the most current information about effective parenting and teens. The site is free and accessible twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Parenthetical features weekly posts about parenting hot topics that are meant to start conversations among users on the site. “We want the site to include not just the latest research on parenting and teenagers, but also the collected lessons and wisdom of parents,” says Anne Clarkson, outreach specialist with UW-Extension. A team of family educators from UW-Madison/UW-Extension will facilitate the site.

For more information on Parenthetical or to join the online parenting community, visit www.myparenthetical.com or contact Lori Zierl, Pierce County UW-Extension Family Living Educator at 715-273-6781.  You can also contact Stephen Small, Becky Mather or Anne Clarkson, at myparenthetical@gmail.com or 608-262-1115.

Today’s forecast (if living with a teen): severe attitude warnings possible throughout the day, scattered sarcasm showers, and a strong chance of annoyance later in the day…

Your teen’s new ability to appreciate and use sarcasm means they are entering a new era of brain development! Your child is moving from the literal to the abstract. For example, a younger child’s understanding of “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink” is very different from a teen’s interpretation.

Read more at http://fyi.uwex.edu/eparenting/?p=270

How is being a parent like being a rock star?

parents and rock stars spend endless hours on the road with too many people in the vehicle! Take advantage of this time on the road to have your child (and their friends) talk about issues that matter, like local politics or religious differences.

Read more at http://fyi.uwex.edu/eparenting/?p=51

What’s your drug IQ?

1. An opioid is a mind-altering chemical that can come from a plan (the opium poppy) or be man-made. Which of these drugs is NOT an opioid?

a. Vicodin

b. Morphine

c. Heroin

d. Cocaine

D. Vicodin, morphine and heroin are opioids, which can slow down most bodily functions, including your breathing and heartbeat. While some opioids—like Vicodin and morphine— are powerful prescription pain relievers, they are sometimes abused and not taken as prescribed by a doctor. Cocaine, however, is a central nervous system stimulant—a class of drugs that can produce feelings of energy, power and intense concentration. Both stimulants and opioids can produce a “high” but can also be dangerous, addictive, and in cases of overdose, result in death.


2. What percentage of people who smoke marijuana every day become addicted?

a. 5-10%

b. 80-90%

c. 25-50%

d. 60-75 %

C. It is estimated that 9 percent of people who use marijuana will become dependent on it. The number goes up to about 1 in 6 in those who start using young (in their teens) and to 25-50 percent among daily users.


3. For several years now, there have been more deaths from prescription pain reliever overdoses than from heroin and cocaine combined. The deaths usually result from:

a. Damage to the brain, causing a stroke

b. Heart valve collapse

c. Respiratory failure (breathing stops)

d. Choking

C. Taken as prescribed, opioids can be used to manage pain safely and effectively. However, when abused, even a single large dose can cause severe respiratory depression and death.


4. People who take drugs can develop tolerance over time. This means:

a. They become nicer, calmer people.

b. They easily get sick to their stomach.

c. They need to take more of a drug to get the same effect.

d. They get physically stronger.

C. When some drugs of abuse are taken, they can release 2 to 10 times the amount of dopamine that natural rewards do. The brain adjusts to the overwhelming surges in dopamine by producing less of it, so a drug abuser must keep taking drugs just to bring the dopamine function back up to normal. And, they must take larger amounts of the drug than they first did to create the dopamine high—an effect known as tolerance.


5. Sharing your ADHD medications with a friend is:

a. Okay, because a doctor prescribes these medications.

b. Prescription drug abuse.

c. Only abuse if the friend uses them to get high.

d. Legal.

B. Prescription drug abuse means taking a prescription drug that is not prescribed for you, or taking it for reasons or in dosages other than as prescribed. Abuse of prescription drugs can produce serious health effects, including addiction.


6. What is NOT true about “bath salts,” often sold in head shops:

a. They can cause intense cravings similar to what methamphetamine users experience.

b. They usually contain some type of stimulant drug along with other unknown ingredients.

c. They are really only dangerous if snorted or injected.

d. They have sent hundreds of people to the emergency room.

C. “Bath salts” often contain amphetamine-like chemicals including mephedrone, which can put users at risk for an overdose. While snorting or injecting bath salts are linked to the most serious health problems, including death, taking them orally can also be dangerous. These synthetic stimulants can cause chest pains, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia, and delusions.


7. K2 or Spice is a mixture of chemicals and herbs sometimes called “fake marijuana.” If you smoke it, what will you be inhaling?

a. Natural materials from eucalyptus leaves.

b. Incense approved by the FDA.

c. Powerful chemicals similar to the active ingredient in marijuana, but much stronger and untested in humans.

d. Dried wildflowers.

C. “Spice” abusers who have needed emergency care report symptoms that include rapid heart rate, vomiting, agitation, confusion, and hallucinations. Spice can also raise blood pressure and cause reduced blood supply to the heart, and in a few cases it has been associated with heart attacks. Regular users may experience withdrawal and addiction symptoms.


8. Taking drugs can lead to HIV/AIDS—Either through shared needles or risky sexual behaviors. About how many people in the US become infected with HIV each year?

a. 7,000

b. 12,000

c. 50,000

d. 110,000

C. Drug and alcohol intoxication affects judgment and can lead to risky sexual behavior that puts participants at risk of contracting or transmitting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, drug use and abuse can facilitate the progress of HIV infection by further compromising the immune system.


9. What is the worst thing that can happen to you if you “sniff” an inhalant?

a. You can pass out.

b. You can die.

c. You can start coughing uncontrollably.

d. You can get serious muscle spasms.

B. Most inhalants produce a rapid high that resembles alcohol intoxication. Possible irreversible effects can be hearing loss, limb spasms, central nervous system or brain damage, and bone marrow damage. Sniffing high concentrations of inhalants may result in death from heart failure or suffocation (inhalants displace oxygen in the lungs).


10. What best describes a good drug treatment program:

a. Never uses medicines to treat addictions.

b. Tailors treatment to the needs of each patient.

c. Doesn’t drag on past 2 or 3 weeks.

d. Expels anyone who relapses while in treatment.

B. Scientific research has shown the value of behavioral counseling or counseling combined with medication to treat addiction. In addition, follow up care and attention to other medical or mental health problems are important.

Adding Alcohol to Energy Drinks More Dangerous Than Drinking Alcohol Alone

Source:  http://www.drugfree.org/join-together


By Join Together Staff | December 5, 2013 |

Drinking alcohol with an energy drink is more dangerous than drinking alcohol alone, according to a new study.

Researchers found college students tended to drink more heavily, and become more intoxicated, on days they used both energy drinks and alcohol, compared with days when they only drank alcohol, according to Science Daily.  The study included 652 college students, who answered questions about their consumption of energy drinks and alcohol during four two-week periods. They also explained any negative consequences they experienced from consuming both products.

Energy drink manufacturers in the United States are no longer allowed to make high-caffeine drinks with alcohol, but young people are mixing their own drinks, such as combining Red Bull and Jägermeister liquor.  The researchers warn that drinking alcohol with energy drinks pose physical risks, such as blacking out and alcohol poisoning. The trend also exposes the community to young adults who are “wide awake drunk” after a night of drinking.

The study appears in the Journal of Adolescent Health.  “Our findings suggest that the use of energy drinks and alcohol together may lead to heavier drinking and more serious alcohol-related problems,” Megan Patrick of the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research said in a news release. “As energy drinks become more and more popular, we should think about prevention strategies for reducing the negative consequences of using energy drinks and of combining energy drinks with alcohol.”

A study published last year found combining caffeinated energy drinks with alcohol can lead to risky sex for college students. The study of 648 students, published in the Journal of Caffeine Research, found 29 percent of sexually active participants said they had alcohol mixed with energy drinks in the past month. During their most recent sexual encounter, about 45 percent had a casual partner, 44 percent said they did not use a condom, and 25 said they were drunk.

Oh, the holidays!

Oh, the holidays!  Pending the arrival of guests, homes are cleaned.  Drawers are straightened, tubs are scrubbed, and cupboards are made tidy in case someone might happen to “take a peek” when visiting.


Pierce County Partnership for Youth would like to remind hosts to also remember to make sure all medications are properly stored before friends and family call.  Outdated medications can be disposed of at drop off sites located in the offices of the Pierce County Sheriff and the Ellsworth and River Falls Police Departments.   Other prescription and non-prescription medications should be put out of reach of children and others who might be drawn to it.


Following is a list of facts reinforcing the need to store medications appropriately:



     One in four teens has misused or abused a prescription (Rx) drug at least once in their lifetime.


Of those kids who said they abused Rx medications, one in five (20%) has done so before age 14.


More than a quarter of teens (27%) mistakenly believe that misusing and abusing prescription drugs is safer than using street drugs.


One-third of teens (33%) say they believe it’s okay to use prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them to deal with an injury, illness or physical pain.


Almost one in four teens (23%) say their parents don’t care as much if they are caught using Rx drugs without a doctor’s prescription, compared to getting caught with illegal drugs.


Almost one-third of parents (29%) say they believe ADHD medication can improve a child’s academic or testing performance, even if the teen does not have ADHD.

SOURCE:  Survey results released by The Partnership at Drugfree.org and Me


Take action now to help make sure the holidays are a time of celebration!


UWRF is smoke-free

The University of Wisconsin-River Fall acknowledges and supports the findings of the Surgeon General that tobacco use in any form, active and passive, is a significant health hazard. In light of the health risks, and in support of a safe and healthy learning and working environment, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls set a tobacco-free campus policy that went into effect on July 1, 2013.  The purposes of this policy are to reduce harm from secondhand smoke, provide an environment that encourages persons to be tobacco-free, establish a campus culture of wellness and environmental responsibility, and promote a tobacco-free future.

We want to support a safe and healthy learning and working environment for all of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Smoking and secondhand smoke can increase a person’s risk for heart disease, cancer, and respiratory problems, just to name a few. According to the Surgeon General, there is no safe exposure level to secondhand smoke.  For more information about the policy go to: http://www.uwrf.edu/tobaccoFreeCampus/

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