The STOP-DWI Program (Special Traffic Options Program for Driving While Intoxicated) was enacted by the New York State Legislature in November, 1981, for the purpose of empowering counties to coordinate local efforts to reduce alcohol and other drug-related crashes within the context of a comprehensive and financially self-sustaining alcohol and highway safety program. All fines collected for alcohol and other drug-related traffic offenses occurring in a county are returned to the county for the operation of the STOP-DWI Program. It should be noted that no county money is used to support the STOP-DWI budget.
In 2018 Governor Andrew Cuomo proclaimed November as STOP-DWI Month. Teri Egan, DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner and Acting Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee stated, “It is important this month, as so many families gather to celebrate the holidays, that we continue to spread the message that drunk driving is dangerous, and I thank Governor Cuomo for his support of this effort.”
In Allegany County a little over half of our budget goes to enforcement, prosecution and supervision.
Funds are provided to local police departments for DWI-specific patrols, to the District Attorney’s Office for prosecution of DWI and related cases, and to the Probation Department for supervision of individuals convicted of DWI and related offenses. The balance of the budget goes to provide day-to-day support of the office and to efforts to educate the public regarding drinking and driving.
One of our major educational efforts is the Annual Fall SADD Conference where youth of our county are educated on destructive decisions. In the past we have addressed topics such as bullying and synthetic drugs, and especially drinking and driving. The 2018 conference addressed Healthy Relationships. This was well-received by the students.
In September the Allegany County STOP-DWI Program was notified of receipt of a grant of $12,300 from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee through the NYS STOP-DWI Foundation. This grant will provide funding for eight DWI Crackdown patrols for specified holiday periods during the 2018-2019 federal fiscal year. This funding is in addition to that already being provided through the annual STOP-DWI budget. Local police departments will provide staffing for county-wide patrols for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Holiday Season, Super Bowl, St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. Specific patrol dates will be released before each period in an effort to impact on the public’s decision to drink and drive. Reports from prior Crackdowns indicate that individuals are aware of the crackdowns and many make the decision to either not drink or to use a designated driver.
The STOP-DWI Office works with many groups and members of the community to continue to make an impact on the choices of individuals regarding drinking and driving. We are an active member of Partners for Prevention in Allegany County as we strive to reduce alcohol/substance use. We work together collaboratively to create a healthy environment for our youth and to enact positive change in the community. There are a number of on-going initiatives being done through the coalition and many individuals and agencies are working together with prevention efforts.
Remember, Prevention Works!
Thursday, November 15th, marks the 43rd Great American Smokeout, a day set aside for smokers and other tobacco users to abstain for at least one day, in hopes that people will quit completely. The idea began in 1971 when Arthur Mullaney, a Massachusetts resident, asked people to quit smoking for a day and donate the money they would have spent on tobacco to a local school. Shortly after Monticello Times editor Lynn Smith led Minnesota’s first “D-Day” (Don’t Smoke Day), the American Cancer Society’s(ACS) California chapter encouraged nearly one million smokers to quit for the day on November 18, 1976. Due to the success in California, the ACS took the event nationwide in 1977, maintaining the third Thursday in November as the target date.
Research shows that smokers are most successful in “kicking the habit” when they have some means of support, such as nicotine replacement products, counseling, prescription medicines to lessen cravings, guide books, and the encouragement of friends and family members.
“Chew on This: The Need to Engage Your Mouth and Hands After Quitting,” article by the Quitter’s Circle staff on 3/10/15 cites that a common theme among ex-smokers and those trying to quit, can be fidgety hands and the need to chew gum, toothpicks, or other foods. Some quitters miss the sensation of a cigarette in their hands or between their teeth. Testimonials often reveal that smokers become used to having a cigarette in their mouths. The habit of picking up a cigarette and placing it between one’s lips becomes a routine of comfort. In addition, the habit of moving one’s hand from cigarette to mouth is repeated so often that quitters and those attempting to quit feel the need to do something with their hands. This article is one of many that contains this kind of information.
In light of this, it would stand to reason that e-cigarettes are not an effective cessation tool for most people, as the hand-to-mouth habit of using an e-cigarette reinforces the behavior that potential quitters are aiming to break. The use of an e-cigarette, which replicates the experience of smoking, may be a drawback to quitting. Harvey B. Simon, MD, editor of “Harvard Health,” stated in an article dated 9/22/11 that, “By simulating the cigarette experience, e-cigarettes may reactivate the habit in ex-smokers.”
According to the ACS, 1 in 5 deaths in the United States is smoking related, over 28,000 of these deaths are New Yorkers. 87% of lung cancer deaths are attributed to smoking. Lung cancer, which is the leading cause of cancer death, is also the most preventable.
If you would like to “kick the habit”, but you are not sure what steps to take, call the Allegany Council at 585-593-1920, x 713, for tips on how to quit and stay quit. Assistance is also available for users of smokeless tobacco.
Don’t allow yourself to become a replacement smoker or a statistic…join millions of Americans today on a journey to a healthier you!
November 17 is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. This is a day when people who have lost a loved one by suicide come together all over the world. The three main goals is to 1) educate, 2) offer an opportunity to share and 3) help suicide loss survivors meaningfully commemorate their loved ones and Survivor Day.
1. You will be in a safe and supportive space.
You will be in a space shared by other survivors and you will be safe to express any and all of the painful emotions and thoughts you may be experiencing.
2. You will find a connection.
You will be in a group of survivors who understand what it means to lose someone to suicide.
3. You will learn that your feelings are normal.
This atmosphere will give you the chance to talk with other people who have gone through or are going through the same thing you are. You have the opportunity to hear others speak about their feelings and you can share how you are feeling if you choose.
4. You can find hope and support and learn things to help you cope and heal.
Important topics are addressed and there are no “right” or “wrong” ways of dealing with a suicide loss. You will be in a nonjudgmental atmosphere and you will be able to connect with local resources.
5. Survivor Day films tell stories that resonate and inspire and you will find comfort.
American Foundation of Suicide Prevention provides a yearly film that shows true stories that the sadness and anger do not last forever. Life does go on in time. This year we will watch two films. The first film is Life Journeys: Reclaiming Life after Loss revisits the grief and healing journey of a suicide loss over time. The second film is A Daughter’s Journey, a documentary that follows Sarah, a young adult, through her story of the loss of her father. Sarah shares her milestones, family, coping positive growth, hope and resilience in the aftermath of a suicide loss.
On Saturday, October 27 the Allegany County Fall Pill Drop was held in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Canaseraga and Cuba were chosen for the fall locations. The pill drop event allows the community to drop off unused, expired, or unwanted medications and provides the opportunity for education on the location of the pill drop boxes in the various communities. In Cuba there is a drop box located at the Cuba Police Department, 15 Water Street. For Canaseraga residents the closest pill drop boxes are located at the Fillmore Pharmacy, 10560 Route 19 and at the Dansville Police Department, 14 Clara Barton Street. The pill drop boxes are available 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 Cuba Police Department, and Partners for Prevention in Allegany County(PPAC). Medications were accepted from 10am to 2pm, and between the two locations, a total of 32 cars stopped and 66.4 pounds of medications were collected.
“The Cuba Police Department is proud to partner with PPAC for the Allegany County Pill Drops. We also recognize the importance of our drop box located in our lobby. These services bring us together with local, state, and federal partners to fight the abuse of prescription drugs that is fueling the nation’s opioid epidemic. These are small, but vital steps that help reduce the chances of prescription medications being misused,” 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’s Pharmacy in Belmont, Alfred Pharmacy and Alfred State’s Office of University Police, Friendship Pharmacy, Jones Memorial Medical Practice in Bolivar, Wellsville Police Department and the Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville. This calendar year, 1,351 pounds of medications have been collected from the pill drop box locations.
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 disposal and where the drop boxes are located” states PPAC Coordinator Jonathan Chaffee. “There was one prescription turned in that had 1975 as its year of being prescribed, which tells me that education on disposing of medications is still needed.”
“The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Canaseraga 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 the Canaseraga 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, 2019. More information about the pill drop box locations can be found at https://ppaccentral.org/pill-drop-locations/.
October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. On Saturday, October 6th, the Prevention Department of the Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc., held the 20th annual Bob Weigand Memorial Move-A-Thon at the Angelica Village Office.
This Red Ribbon event is held every first Saturday in October in memory of Drug Enforcement Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was tortured and killed by drug traffickers in 1985. The purpose of the Move-a-Thon is to promote a drug-free lifestyle through healthy alternatives, and to remind people to wear red ribbons in support of a drug-free America during Red Ribbon Week, October 23rd-31st. This year’s theme is: “Life is Your Journey, Travel Drug Free!”
Winners of the event by category are as follows:
First Walker – Female: Audri Eveland / Male: Carl Dandridge
First Cyclist –Female: Brooke Bradt / Male: Darren Bradt
There were no participants registered as runners in this year’s event.
The Allegany Council would like to thank the Village of Angelica for allowing the event to take place there, local law enforcement for ensuring safety, WZKZ Radio for providing a live remote, and all those who participated in and supported this special event!
Visit Red Ribbon Campaign for more information on ideas for activities to celebrate Red Ribbon.
In the United States, an average of 20 people will experience intimate partner physical violence every minute. This equates to more than 10 million abuse victims annually. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month where advocates across the country try to bring to light the effects domestic violence has on individuals and communities.
According to New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, for the past 3 years New York State has had the highest demand for domestic violence services. These services include but are not limited too; seeking refuge in emergency shelter, assistance with court accompaniment and legal advocacy, counseling, support groups, support/advocacy with public benefits, and support/advocacy with housing/landlord. For the past 12 years, the National Network to End Domestic Violence conducted a one-day survey to capture the number of individuals and children seeking domestic violence related services. In 2017, they recorded 72,245 victims seeking services nationwide, 7,148 of those individuals were in New York State alone. On that same day, in New York, 852 victims’ needs were unable to be met because of a lack in resources available, due largely to budget cuts.
With statistics this troubling, it is likely that on any given day, regardless of what we do personally or professionally – we will encounter someone who has been abused by an intimate partner. It is important that we are mindful about how we interact with victims of domestic violence especially when they come to us seeking help in whatever capacity that may be.
Please mark your calendars and plan to join Cattaraugus Community Action Victim Services and ACCORD for a free Domestic Violence Awareness Training Presentation with keynote speaker Sara Mahoney who brings more than a decade of specialized experience and training. This event will be held at the Jamestown Community College, Olean Campus Cutco Theater, Thursday October 18th, from noon until 3pm. Please RSVP to Kathlyn Ramey at email@example.com by the 16th as there will be light refreshments provided.
Please reach out to your local Domestic Violence Agency for more information or to seek services:
Allegany County, ACCORD- 800-593-5322
Cattaraugus County, Cattaraugus Community Action Victim Services -1-888-945-3970
Monday, September 24th, marks the 18th anniversary of Family Day: A Day to Eat Dinner with your Children, founded in 2001 by the Center on Addiction. Research by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University has consistently found that the more often children eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink, or use other drugs. Conversations during mealtime are a way for parents to stay connected and involved with their children. Televisions, cell phones, and other mobile devices should be turned off during dinner so each person can share the day’s events without distractions. This includes involving family members in preparation and clean-up. Trips in the vehicle can also be used as teachable, quality bonding time, as parents have a “captive” audience. The earlier parents start connecting with their kids, the better. If kids aren’t used to talking to their parents about what’s going on in their lives when they are eight or ten, it will be more difficult to get them talking when they are older.
Teens are at greater risk of substance abuse as they move from middle school to high school, so, parents need to be especially attentive during this transition period.
If parents are unsure of how to start an age-appropriate conversation, they can access tips in the newly revised Parent Toolkit on the CASA Family Day website or New York State’s Talk2Prevent website. Other valuable information can also be found in the toolkit, such as “connecting” with kids, preventing substance use, background facts on substance use, family activities and worksheets, and tips for talking to kids about substance use.
This year’s presenting sponsor is Quest Diagnostics. Partners include CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America), Fathers Incorporated, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), National Military Family Association, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, Prevent Child Abuse America, SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), The Family Dinner Project, The Kids Time, and The Moyer Foundation.
Celebrate with parents nationwide and pledge to commit to:
Spend time with your kids by playing games, taking a walk, or enjoying another family activity.
Talk to them about their friends, interests, and the dangers of using substances.
Answer their questions and listen to what they say.
Recognize that parents have the power to keep their kids substance-free! A warm, supportive relationship between parents and their children is linked to better judgement, increased self-control, and resilience, which are strengths that help reduce the risk of future drug use.
Remember, parental engagement does make a difference, and prevention works!
National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life.
Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those in recovery, just as we celebrate health improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. The observance reinforces the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.
There are millions of Americans whose lives have been transformed through recovery. Since these successes often go unnoticed by the broader population, Recovery Month provides a vehicle for everyone to celebrate these accomplishments. Each September, tens of thousands of prevention, treatment, and recovery programs and facilities around the country celebrate Recovery Month. They speak about the gains made by those in recovery and share their success stories with their neighbors, friends, and colleagues. In doing so, everyone helps to increase awareness and furthers a greater understanding about the diseases of mental and substance use disorders.
Now in its 29th year, Recovery Month highlights the achievements of individuals who have reclaimed their lives in long-term recovery and honors the treatment and recovery service providers who make recovery possible.
Recovery Month also promotes the message that recovery in all of its forms is possible and encourages citizens to take action to help expand and improve the availability of effective prevention, treatment, and recovery services for those in need. For local recovery services visit Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc.(ACASA) or Celebrate Recovery .
Each year, Recovery Month selects a new focus and theme to spread the message and share the successes of treatment and recovery. The 2018 Recovery Month observance will focus on urban communities, health care providers, members of the media, and policymakers, highlighting the various entities that support recovery within our society.
The 2018 Recovery Month theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in Health, Home, Purpose, and Community,” explores how integrated care, a strong community, sense of purpose, and leadership contributes to effective treatments that sustain the recovery of persons with mental and substance use disorders. The observance will work to highlight inspiring stories to help people from all walks of life find the path to hope, health, and wellness. Learn more about this year’s and past year themes.
Each year, SAMHSA creates a Recovery Month toolkit to help individuals and organizations increase awareness of the power of recovery. The kit provides media outreach templates, tips for event planning and community outreach, audience-specific information and data on behavioral health conditions, and resources for prevention, treatment, and recovery support services. These resources help local communities reach out and encourage individuals in need of services, and their friends and families, to seek treatment and recovery services and information. Materials include SAMHSA’s National Helpline 1-800-662 HELP (4357) for 24-hour, free and confidential information and treatment referral as well as other SAMHSA resources for locating services.
Additional Recovery Month resources are available on the Recovery Month website.
To kick off the start of Alfred University’s ‘18-‘19 school year, the fourth annual Paint for Prevention was held on Saturday, August 25th. Paint for Prevention is a chalk art competition open to Alfred University students. This year the main theme of the chalk art was tobacco, but the students could choose any prevention theme. There were many different prevention topics covered from substance abuse to domestic violence. “This event is a way for prevention agencies to reach college students and allow them a creative outlet to think of different issues faced by college students,” states PPAC Coalition/Reality Check Coordinator Jon Chaffee. “The art that is done by the students of Alfred University never fails to amaze; hopefully, the art has a positive effect on these young people,” states Chaffee.
This year there were forty-two artists who completed thirty-seven works of art. While the artists were working on their chalk art, the Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc.(ACASA), Cattaraugus Community Action(CCA), Partners for Prevention in Allegany County(PPAC), and Tobacco Free Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany had informational tables to let the students know of resources available to them. “Although the students have access to resources on campus, awareness of external county resources is just as valuable, especially when a student can connect a face with an agency,” states Ann Weaver, Community Educator at ACASA. The students also had a chance to win an Alfred University sweatshirt by interacting with the different agencies. Clara Lager won first place, Monet Harris won second place, and third place went to Hannah Yaneloh. To check out all of the artwork, please visit https://ppaccentral.org/paint-for-prevention/ .
August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). The Allegany County Department of Health is asking the public to make sure they and their family is up-to-date on vaccines this month. Getting vaccinated is an easy way to protect your health. During the month of August, take the time to make sure that you and your loved ones have received all of the vaccinations you need. By making sure your vaccinations are up to date, you can help prevent harmful diseases from affecting you and your family.
Please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s(CDC) Immunization Schedules for more information.
Please visit the Allegany County Family Planning Clinic or call at (585)-268-9250 with any questions or to make an appointment.