Safe In NM

Creating Environments Free
of Substance Abuse

Welcome to SAFE in Northern Michigan!

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.


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Traveling teen bedroom brings awareness to current 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 trailer, which has been converted to look like a teen’s bedroom, will be parked outside of high schools in Antrim, Charlevoix and Emmet counties during parent-teacher conferences with the intent of informing 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.
Susan Pulaski, SAFE Coalition project coordinator, said “Because of the danger of vaping, we want parents to be informed of these devices so that they can open the door to a conversation with their teen. Awareness of what devices look like can help to protect their teen.” 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.
Funding for the trailer was made possible by the Northern Michigan Regional Entity and donations of labor and materials from the Home Depot in Petoskey. SAFE will have the trailer at events again in the spring. If you are interested in scheduling a time or event, please email
The SAFE Coalition is currently seeking a sponsor for a trailer wrap to better identify the purpose of the trailer. For additional information on the trailer, sponsorship or to schedule a visit with the trailer, call Susan Pulaski at (231) 347-5813.

Marijuana Awareness Campaign

An important ongoing SAFE campaign is related to the dangers of youth using marijuana, with new videos released for the 2019-20 school year and new billboards set to go up around the region. The accompanying 30-second Public Service Announcements (see link below) feature local youth educating others about the high levels of THC (main chemical in marijuana that causes the high) and the many changes in the makeup of current marijuana. This media campaign is being shared through digital ads, TV, radio, theaters, social media, billboards, banners and print ads. MARIJUANA, SUBSTANCE USE AWARENESS VIDEOS

Vaping Awareness campaign

The SAFE Coalition is committed to making sure teens and families are aware of the dangers of vaping. The coalition and its youth continue to work hard to increase awareness of the dangers of vaping through Public Service Announcements and media ad campaigns. View our most current video at right. Click here for information about vaping and ingredients in vaping devices and e-cigarettes. VAPING, SUBSTANCE USE AWARENESS VIDEOS

MiPHY survey: Local youth substance use snapshot available in new survey report

Sept. 27, 2018 - Newly released survey results about youth substance use – including marijuana, alcohol, vaping and prescription drugs – provides a snapshot of teen behaviors in Antrim, Charlevoix and Emmet counties.
The Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth (MiPHY) survey, developed by the Michigan Department of Education, was administered to students in grades 7, 9 and 11 in local school districts during the 2017-18 school year. Not all school districts participate, but those who do help to compile a glimpse into substance-use concerns for preteens and teens. The anonymous survey asks students to identify which substances they have used within the past 30 days of the survey. Among the report's most concerning trends are a high number of students reporting they had vaped in the prior 30 days, and also a decrease in teens' perception of risk of harm in using marijuana. READ THE FULL ARTICLE

SAFE youth attend CADCA Conference

SAFE in Northern Michigan, a local collaboration of community leaders from various sectors working to combat youth substance use in the region’s communities, recently took six area youth to the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America Mid-Year Training Institute in Dallas, Texas. Representing SAFE in Northern Michigan were students Ben Lentz, Makayla Gillette, Joey Johnston, Joi Minier, Jaeger Griswold and Remi Dunkel, as well as youth advisors Susan Pulaski and Sierra Hilt.

Pulaski, who serves as project coordinator of SAFE, said the experience was great for the youth, noting they participated in the Key Essentials course with 500 other youth from around the world. The course provides participants with the foundation tools needed to take the first steps in solving their communities' problems surrounding drugs, vaping, underage drinking, prescription drugs and other substance misuse-related issues, using the Strategic Prevention Framework.

Recent media attention to vaping

Local and regional media have recently been covering the growing concern of vaping, particularly among teenagers. Following are links to recent media around this topic:

Trends in youth substance use continue to evolve (February 2019)

Northern Express: The Vape Debate (January 2019) Petoskey News-Review: Educating an Epidemic (Dec. 24, 2018) The Petoskey News-Review attended the Charlevoix community forum and published an article, which can be accessed here.  

SAFE partners with Talk Sooner campaign

The SAFE Collaborative has partnered with a new organization, the Talk Sooner campaign for a new project that encourages parents to begin having important conversations with their children starting at a young age. Talk Sooner gives parents talking points and ideas for conversations at all age ranges. To help parents and caregivers remember to have these conversations, SAFE has sent out postcards to all students in grades 3-5 throughout Char-Em ISD schools. Yard signs were placed at schools and organizations in late April 2019 as well.  Visit to get started in learning how and what to say to your children, and when.


February 13 (Thursday)
March 5 (Thursday)
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  • FACT: 83.6% of Charlevoix County high school students reported NOT using marijuana in the past 30 days.(MiPHY 2018)
  • FACT: 84.2% of Antrim County high school students reported NOT using marijuana in the past 30 days.(MiPHY 2018)
  • In the past 30 days, 35.2 percent of Charlevoix County High School students reported vaping. (MiPHY 2018)
  • In the past 30 days, 23.7 percent of Antrim County High School students reported vaping. (MiPHY 2018)
  • In the past 30 days, 24.7 percent of Emmet County High School students reported vaping. (MiPHY 2018)
  • FACT: 89.1% of Emmet County high school students reported NOT using marijuana in the past 30 days.(MiPHY 2018)