Allegany County Fall Pill Drop

Andover and Cuba– On Saturday, October 26 the Allegany County Fall Pill Drop was held in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Andover and Cuba were chosen for the fall locations.  The pill drop events allow residents the opportunity to get rid of unused, expired, or unwanted medications and provides the partners the opportunity to educate on the location of the pill drop boxes throughout Allegany County. In Cuba there is a drop box located at the Cuba Police Department, 15 Water Street. For Andover residents the closest pill drop boxes are located at: the Alfred Pharmacy, 36 North Main Street, Alfred State University Police, 10 Upper College Drive and at the Wellsville Police Department, 46 South Main Street and Jones Memorial Hospital, 191 North Main Street. The pill drop boxes are available all year long and for anyone to use.

This event was held in partnership with the Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc. (ACASA), the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, the Andover and Cuba Police Departments, and Partners for Prevention in Allegany County (PPAC). Medications and Sharps waste was accepted from 10am to 2pm. Between the two locations, a total of 64 cars stopped and 106 pounds of medications and two boxes of Sharps water was turned in by community members. “The pill drops continue to be an asset to the community and the Cuba Police Department is proud to be associated with this great initiative,” stated Chief Dustin Burch of the Cube Police Department.

Each car that stopped received a Take It To The Box magnet, which lists all of the pill drop box locations throughout Allegany County. In addition to those previously mentioned, there are boxes at: the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office and Nicholson Pharmacy in Belmont, Fillmore Pharmacy, Friendship Pharmacy, and Jones Memorial Medical Practice in Bolivar.

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The pill drop events and boxes are completely anonymous and confidential. Once the Sheriff’s Office has collected the medications, they are transported to an undisclosed location for incineration. Incinerating the medications makes them harmless to the environment. “The pill drop events allow us to educate the community on safe storage, safe use, and safe disposal of medications and where the drop boxes are located throughout county” states PPAC Coordinator Jonathan Chaffee. “We are also able to educate community members on disposal of Sharps waste, most community members do not know that they can dispose of Sharps waste at any transfer station in Allegany County for free.”

“The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Andover and Cuba community for utilizing the pill drops to safely dispose of their unwanted medications,” stated Undersheriff Kevin Monroe. “By collecting and destroying these substances, we greatly reduce the amount available to find their way onto our streets and into the hands of our youth.”

The agencies involved would like to send out a special “Thank You” to Andover and Cuba Fire Departments for giving us a space to hold the pill drop events. The next pill drop event will not be until April, 2020.  The Allegany County pill drops have been held since 2007, more information about the pill drop box locations can be found at https://ppaccentral.org/pill-drop-locations/.

30th National Recovery Month

Recovery.Month.2019This September marks the 30th National Recovery Month, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  According to this year’s toolkit, one facet of this year’s theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger,” emphasizes that the need to share resources and build networks across the country to support the many paths to recovery affirms the vital role that young people play in this effort.  An estimated 345,000 adolescents aged 12 to 17 had a substance use disorder and a major depressive episode (MDE) in the past year.  Young people (ages 12-25) who show passion, drive, innovative thinking, and a commitment to their communities represent a key population that can promote fresh, creative ideas in the prevention, treatment, and recovery from mental and substance use disorders.  Not only does this age group have the resilience to recover, but they are also building blocks for the future.  By providing a platform and voice for the nation’s emerging leaders, we show that investing in the future is just as important as honoring the past.

Free, confidential help is available 24 hours daily through SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357), or 1-800-487-4889 (TDD).  More information can be found at Recovery Month. Locally, counseling is available at the Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc., at 585-593-6738.

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“Together, we can stop the stigma surrounding mental and substance use disorders, and help more people find the path to hope, health, and overall wellness!”

International Overdose Awareness Day

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This August 31 marks the 19th International Overdose Awareness Day, started in Melbourne, Australia, in 2001. Sally Finn, a manager of the Salvation Army syringe program, saw the sorrow that families experienced when they lost their loved ones to a drug overdose. When she realized that the families were unable to express their grief due to the stigma of drug use, Sally arranged an event that would allow families to commemorate the memories of their departed loved ones. Six thousand ribbons were distributed that day, and the awareness day has been supported every year since then.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), there are several ways to make a difference on this global event day:
• Hold a candlelight vigil.
• Offer an educational program, such as one related to preventing opioid use, in partnership with a local organization.
• Provide a safe space for telling the stories of overdose victims.
• Offer a large canvas and washable paint so survivors can add a handprint in memory of their loved one.
• Display empty hats or shoes to represent the number of lives lost in the community.
• Use the NSC Community Action Kit  as a planning guide.
Become a Safety Ambassador by hosting a community fundraising event.
• Access the NSC Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/NatlSafetyCouncil/) to get a purple frame for your Facebook profile image.
• Share the NCS Facebook Live virtual candlelight vigil on August 30.
• Add the name of a loved one who died of an opioid overdose to the “Celebrating Lost Loved Ones” map.
Purchase or create purple wristbands, pins, shirts, or other items to be worn on August 31.
• Research state and federal legislation that addresses opioid overdose prevention, and write to your representative.
• Support NSC (/forms/donate) efforts to end the opioid crisis by making a gift in honor of a loved one.

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In Allegany County the agency that deals with preventing opioid use is the Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc.(ACASA). ACASA handles opioid use through education programs that the Prevention staff present in the local schools to educate our young people. ACASA offers treatment programs through the clinic to help the community with opioid use.

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ACASA, Partners for Prevention in Allegany County(PPAC) and the Sheriff’s Office offers and promotes the Take It To the Box program, which gives community members places to dispose of their unwanted or unused medications. The Take It To the Box locations are throughout Allegany County at: Alfred Pharmacy, Alfred State’s University Police(Theta Gamma House), the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, Cuba Police Department, Fillmore Pharmacy, Friendship Pharmacy, Jones Memorial Hospital, Jones Memorial Medical Practice in Bolivar, Nicholson Pharmacy, and the Wellsville Police Department.
Twice a year these three agencies also participate in the Drug Enforcement Agency’s(DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Days, offering two more locations in the community to drop off medications. Take It To the Box and the biannual pill drops have had over a million dollars in street value of medications turned in by the community.

For more information on ACASA’s Prevention Department and Clinic visit Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc. For more information on PPAC and the Take It To the Box program visit PPAC Central.

Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow

2018_NCADD_Alcohol_Awareness_Month_Logo2-678x4602This April marks the 33rd Annual Alcohol Awareness Month, sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) since 1987.  This year’s theme is: “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow”.

No other substance is more widely used and abused by America’s youth than alcohol, making alcoholism and alcohol-related problems the number one public health problem in the United States.

Fostering healthy and responsible attitudes, talking openly and honestly, encouraging supportive relationships, and showing children that their opinions and decisions matter, are all ways to help prevent the use of alcohol and other drugs.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, research shows that drinking, binge drinking, and extreme binge drinking by women are all increasing.  While alcohol misuse by anyone presents serious public health concerns, women who drink have a higher risk of certain alcohol-related problems compared to men.  Women who regularly misuse alcohol are more likely to develop alcoholic hepatitis, a serious liver-related acute illness, than men who drink the same amount of alcohol.  This pattern of drinking can also lead to cirrhosis of the liver, which refers to liver scarring and shrinking.

While long-term alcohol misuse is a leading cause of heart disease, women are more susceptible to alcohol-related heart disease than men, even though they may consume less alcohol over their lifetime than men.

Research suggests that alcohol misuse produces brain damage more quickly in women than in men.  Also, because alcohol disrupts brain development during adolescence, teen girls who drink may be more vulnerable to brain damage than teen boys who drink.  Women may be more susceptible than men to alcohol-related blackouts, which are periods of memory loss during intoxication without loss of consciousness.

Women who consume a drink per day have a five to nine percent higher chance of developing breast cancer than those who do not drink.  Studies have shown that the risk increases for every additional drink they have per day.

There is no safe amount of alcohol for a woman to drink during pregnancy.  Drinking during pregnancy can increase the risk for pre-term labor and puts her fetus at risk for physical, cognitive, or behavioral problems that can last a lifetime.

According to a New York State survey, fifty-two percent of students in grades 7-12 reported that their parents had never talked to them about the dangers of underage drinking.  Let’s help keep kids safe from alcohol and other drugs by starting the conversation.  For tips on how to do this, log onto www.Talk2Prevent.NY.gov.  For additional information and resources, visit PPAC Central.  Let this be your call to action, and remember, PREVENTION WORKS!

Children of Addictions Awareness Week

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CELEBRATING HOPE AND HEALING FOR A LIFETIME

COA Awareness Week 2019 * February 10 – 16

SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES

During COA Awareness Week, you can be a part of NACoA’s annual international awareness and advocacy campaign, helping to spread the word that children living in families that struggle with addiction need the support of caring adults. Through awareness activities we can inspire adults to be there for the children who suffer silently, and together we can reach kids and teens with important information.

Children living with addiction need to know it’s not their fault when a parent struggles with addiction. They also need to understand that these parents have a disease, and learn how to separate the disease of addiction from the parent they love. During COA Awareness Week, do what you can to speak out, reach out, and raise awareness about the silent victims of addiction: the children. These children are often the first hurt and the last helped, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can make a difference with your support and attention during COA Awareness Week.

HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE DURING COA AWARENESS WEEK

  • Review the Social Media Toolkit and resources list to find ways to share information in your community. Share NACoA’s Social Media Toolkit with family and friends, pediatricians, educators, guidance counselors, therapists, social workers, faith community leaders, drug court professionals, coaches, boy scout leaders, dance instructors, daycare organizations, or anyone else you believe has the opportunity to impact the life of a kid or teen in a meaningful way.
  • Share information through social media. Follow NACoA on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and get more involved with COA Awareness Week. Through out platforms, you can find an share articles, infographics, images, and resources that can help raise awareness and offer strategies to families, professionals, and other caring adults in the community. By expanding that reach, we can continue to help more people understand the issues facing children of addiction and help them learn how they can help.
  • Speak out as an organization and as an individual. You, or an organization you’re part of, can advocate for the children and families affected by addiction. 1 in 7 individuals today will experience a substance use disorder during their lifetime, and many of them are parents. An estimated 25 percent of all children in the U.S. (about 18 million) are living in a home struggling with addiction. The needs of these kids and teens often go overlooked, and unaddressed. Taking part in COA Awareness Week, you and your organization can join the Voice for the Children and help make a difference for these silent victims of addiction.
  • Ask churches and other faith-based organizations to join in COA Awareness Week. Share NACoA’s pamphlets and resources and suggest they make them available to their congregations. Request that the topic of family recovery be discusses during homilies, or host a discussion after services to discuss the issue at great length. Create an afternoon or evening children’s workshop reflecting on gratitude or mindfulness, both great activities that build protective factors and resiliency in children living with addiction. Direct ministers to the Faith Community section of the NACoA website, which offers an array of resources to help them to better understand how to serve families needing faith recovery.
  • Distribute NACoA’s prepared materials. Recognize the week with a simple information distribution campaign. Using material already developed by NACoA, call and visit the offices of organizations whose work is like yours or otherwise well-suited to the messages of COA Awareness Week. Ask them to display the COA Awareness Week poster and other NACOA materials, such as posters or infographics, in their public areas. Contact your community’s health care professional associations (hospital associations, medical and dental societies, nurses’ associations) and managed care organizations, and share information about COA’s with them. Bring the COA Awareness Week flyer and other resources to your own pediatrician’s or doctor’s offices, and make a request for them to be share on the office’s notice board. You might also suggest creating a parent educational material table at any office who serves families. In today’s digital-savy environment, send emails to professionals and attach important resources with an invitation for them to include on their website or reference in an upcoming newsletter. Follow up with them by phone and see if they received your email and resources, and if they with to discuss what they can do to help.

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  • Sell the money-saving aspects of prevention to city and county managers. Use basic statistics about addiction and its impact on families to showcase the potential costs to your local government. Let the numbers show those in decision-making positions that it is cost effective, as well as compassionate, to speak up for and promote prevention programs such as youth mentoring, student assistance programs in schools, or addiction-support programs in health clinics. Savings will come in reductions in health care, human services, and criminal justice costs avoided through investments in prevention.

By doing one (or many!) of these COA Awareness Week activities, you can make a difference in the lives of children. And remember: It only takes one caring and supportive adult to take action and empower a child of addiction.

Whether in your home, your neighborhood, your school, your congregation, or in your family, you can let a child know that you care and you are available to listen. And, by modeling healthy behavior, you can also shine brightly in the darkness of fear and confusion that oftentimes can overwhelm them. Your compassion is powerful. Use it to help empower children, the silent victims of addiction. Visit the National Association for Children of Addiction’s for more information.

 

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

ndafw.logo.19This January 22th marks the ninth National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, first launched in 2010 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse(NIDA).  The purpose of this week is to counteract the myths that youth get from the Internet, television, movies, music, or friends, and replace those myths with scientific facts about drug abuse and addiction.  The more informed our youth are about substances and the negative impact those substances can have on their lives, the less likely they are to engage in risky behaviors. “Shatter the Myths” is a free NIDA publication that parents can use to talk to their kids about substance abuse, and is free to download.  One of the myths that young people in Allegany County have is that their peers are all using alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs. The reality is much different; the Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Inc.’s(ACASA) Risk and Protective Survey that is completed every two years in 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grades tells us the truth about substance use among our young people.

  • In 2017, 81.2% of Allegany County high school seniors did not drink alcohol in the past 30 days.
  • In 2017, 90.3% of Allegany County high school seniors did not smoke cigarettes in the past 30 days.
  • In 2017, 93.7% of Allegany County high school seniors did not smoke marijuana in the past 30 days.
  • In 2017, 97.2% of Allegany County high school seniors did not use heroin or misuse pain killers in the past 30 days.
  • In 2017, 96.4% of Allegany County high school seniors did not use other illicit drugs in the past 30 days.

All of these statistics are encouraging about how much our young people in Allegany County are using substances.

As a parent you might not think that your child listens to you when you speak to them about important topics, such as substance use, but they do! The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services(OASAS) has Talk2Prevent to help parents help them speak to their children about substances and give them the correct information about substances. Remember to “Talk Today, Tomorrow and Always – Don’t Ever Stop Talking” because they might not admit or act like it, but they are listening.

Here are five facts to use each day of this week to help start the conversation with your children about drugs and other substances.

Monday:  Young people who drink alcohol before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who abstain until age 21.  Brains develop until age 24, and young brains become damaged more quickly than adult brains.

Tuesday:  Marijuana can speed the heart rate up to 160 beats per minute, dilate the blood vessels so the whites of the eyes turn red, and cause feelings of panic that include sweating, dry mouth, and breathing difficulties.

Wednesday:  Inhalants can cause permanent damage to the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and bones.  Sudden Sniffing Death is death by suffocation, which occurs when inhaled fumes take the place of oxygen in the lungs and brain.

Thursday:  Withdrawal symptoms from prescription opioid abuse include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, sleep problems, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes with goosebumps, and involuntary leg movements.

Friday:  Anabolic steroids are bad for the heart, cause damage to the liver, and halt bone growth.  This means that a teenage steroid user may not grow to his/her full adult height.

Aggressive behavior may be triggered by steroid abuse and is known as “roid rage”.

Saturday: Tobacco use and secondhand smoke cause illnesses such as lung cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, and respiratory problems. One of every three cancer deaths is caused by smoking. Average smokers lose more than 10 years of life because they smoke.

Sunday: Vapor products may seem harmless because of their flavors and names, but most of them contain the highly addictive chemical nicotine and contain many of the same dangerous chemicals and carcinogens that are found in regular cigarettes. All JUUL pods contain nicotine.

NIDA’s “Family Checkup: Positive Parenting Prevents Drug Abuse” report highlights five questions relevant to parenting skills that help prevent the initiation and progression of youth drug use.  The questions emphasize calm and clear communication about relationship issues, encouraging positive behaviors on a daily basis, negotiating emotional parent/teen conflicts and working toward a solution, ability to set limits when behavior ranges from defiant or disrespectful to more serious problem behavior, and monitoring teens to assure that they are not spending too much time unsupervised.  Visit the NIDA’s Family Checkup page for a copy of these questions and to view video clips that display positive and negative examples of the skills, as well as additional videos to help parents practice positive parenting skills.

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For youth organizations, such as schools NIDA offers Chat Day on January 24. Chat Day is am annual live online chat held between high school students and NIDA scientists. Students from around the country ask the questions they most want the answers to about drugs and drug misuse, including drug effects, how to help friend or famiy that are abusing drugs, and what causes addiction. NIDA’s expert scientists give them the facts. Register for Chat Day here.

We can all do our part by supporting our youth, getting the facts, and remembering that PREVENTION WORKS!