November 2019
November 2019
Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving/Holiday Party Etiquette

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season and for many that means party time. Did you know that in the 2017 Youth Assessment Survey of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders in Ottawa County, 56% of our youth reported that it would be easy them to get access to alcohol and over 24% of our 12th graders reported that they had been given alcohol from parents- either their own or friend's. In Michigan, it is against the law to supply alcohol to minors. The social host law addresses anyone, regardless of age, who provides a place or setting where underage drinking occurs, regardless of who provides the alcohol. There are stiff penalties associated with this, up to and including fines and imprisonment.
Additionally, underage alcohol use can have significant impact on brain development; youth who drink before the age of 21 are 4 times more likely to develop an alcohol dependence . Please keep this in mind as you plan your holiday gatherings; let's make the focus of the holidays be on family and fun, not alcohol.

Did you know that the most DUI arrests occur during the time between Thanksgiving and the end of the New Year's holiday? On average, 300 people die in the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve from drunk driving. In the past decade, we've made significant advances in decreasing the number of people driving under the influence. There is still more work do, and we can all play a part:
  • Plan ahead! Don’t wait until you start drinking to figure out how you’ll get home.
  • Add contact information for cab companies and car services into your phone or write it down. Some companies even offer special fares during the holidays, so do your research ahead of time.
  • Download and pre-populate your information for ride-sharing apps to make it easy to get a ride at the end of the evening.
  • Identify a designated driver for the evening and STICK WITH THE PLAN.
  • Create a back-up plan for a safe and sober ride home before you go out for the night.

A VERY Successful TakeBack Day
Jessica Irvin of the Ottawa County Opiate Task Force reported that the DEA Takeback Day on 10/26 was the MOST successful event yet: at the 6 designated drop-off spots in Ottawa County at Holland Hospital, Health Pointe, Spectrum Health, NOCH, Spring Lake Fire Dept., Coopersville Sheriff’s Office, 532.3 lbs of Medication and 135.5 lbs of Sharps were collected from 300 people.
The 532.2 lbs of medications is estimated to contain:
  • 6,346 Opiate Pills
  • 1,328 Stimulant Pills
  • 4,570 Sedative Pills
This is one of the most effective ways we, as community members can contribute to the fight against the opioid epidemic.
Look for the next DEA Takeback Day on April 25, 2020!

OSAP Annual Awards
On October 25, the OSAP Coalition gave out its annual awards. This is our opportunity to show our gratitude to the members of our community who have given so much of their time and talents to the OSAP coalition and its work. Here are the awards that were given out:
Student of the Year – Sophia Putman
TalkSooner Ambassador – Becky Dawson
Distinguished Service Award – Captain Derek Christensen, Ottawa Sheriff Dept.
Distinguished Service Award –Tim Findlay, Ottawa County Dept. Public Health
School of the Year – Grand Haven High School
Retailer of the Year – Odd Side Ales in Grand Haven
Retailer of the Year – Big E’s Sports Grill in Holland
Volunteer of the Year - Laura Ives,  Total Trek Quest - TTQ  Advisory Board

Ottawa Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition
Contact Leigh Moerdyke at

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